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Feds charge members of Three Percenters militia group over Jan. 6 attack

Feds charge members of Three Percenters militia group over Jan. 6 attack
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday that six members of the Three Percenters right-wing militia group have been charged with conspiring to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

All six men — Alan Hostetter, Russell Taylor, Eric Scott Warner, Felipe Antonio "Tony" Martinez, Derek Kinnison and Ronald Mele — are from California.

According to the DOJ, they first began to form their plan in December through the use of the Telegram messaging app. They chose to go to D.C. on Jan. 6 because of tweet from former President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE that read: "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!" prosecutors allege.

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According to prosecutors, Taylor wrote to the other five members in the Telegram app, "I personally want to be on the front steps and be one of the first ones to breach the doors!"

Around 30 people have been charged with conspiracy in connection with the riot so far, Reuters notes, with members from The Oath Keepers and The Proud Boys having been detained as well. Conspiracy is the most serious of the charges being levied in relation to the breach of the Capitol.

According to the DOJ, around 465 people have been arrested on charges relating to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, with more than 130 charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

Hostetter and Taylor were reportedly seen walking with prominent Trump ally Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneFeds charge members of Three Percenters militia group over Jan. 6 attack Biden's anti-corruption memo is good news — and essential to US national security Legal intrigue swirls over ex-Trump exec Weisselberg: Five key points MORE the day before the deadly insurrection. In 2020, Hostetter founded the American Phoenix Project, a group that protests pandemic-related restrictions on gatherings, according to the indictment.

The Three Percenters was founded in 2008 as an anti-government group. The group derives its name from the idea that only 3 percent of Americans fought against the British in the American Revolution.

Most historians agree that this claim is inaccurate, with the 3 percent likely referring to the number of pension files and bounty-land warrant applications that were made, as the Observer reported. The true number was likely much higher when factoring in the navy and militias that also participated in the war.