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Two Active-Duty Marines Admit Guilt in Connection with Capitol Riot

by Madison Thomas
4 comments
Capitol riot charges

On Monday, two active-service Marines, Joshua Abate and Dodge Dale Hellonen, acknowledged their guilt in charges related to the U.S. Capitol riot.

These two men are set to be sentenced in September by U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes after admitting to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, as revealed by a representative from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia.

While numerous Capitol riot participants are military veterans, only a small number were serving actively in the military during the Jan. 6, 2021, mob assault on the Capitol.

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A third Marine currently on active duty, Micah Coomer, was also implicated along with Abate and Hellonen. In May, Coomer confessed to the same misdemeanor offense and is slated for sentencing by Reyes on Aug. 30.

Each of the three men could receive a maximum penalty of six months in prison.

As of May 19, all three remained on active duty in the Marines. There were no additional details available as of Monday.

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David Dischley, Abate’s attorney, refrained from commenting on his client’s guilty plea. An email requesting comment from Hellonen’s public defense assistant went unanswered.

The trio was apprehended in January: Abate in Fort Meade, Maryland; Coomer in Oceanside, California; and Hellonen in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

The FBI stated that a fellow Marine identified Abate from footage recorded inside the Capitol.

In June 2022, during a security clearance interview, Abate revealed he and two companions had ventured through the Capitol on Jan. 6, endeavoring to avoid tear gas, according to an FBI special agent.

In a signed affidavit, the agent wrote, “Abate also confessed he became aware of the negative portrayal of the event and concluded he should refrain from discussing his presence at the U.S. Capitol Building.”

Subsequent to the riot, Coomer posted on Instagram photos with the caption “Glad to be (a part) of history.” Both the angle of the images and the caption suggested his presence inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, per the FBI. Coomer’s military file listed a phone number that matched the Instagram account.

Coomer journeyed to Washington from his Virginia military base on the morning of Jan. 6. Alongside Abate and Hellonen, he attended former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally before they infiltrated the Capitol. They positioned a red “Make America Great Again” hat on a statue inside the Rotunda, took photographs, and remained nearly an hour before departing, according to the prosecution.

Coomer expressed to another Instagram user less than a month post-riot, his belief that “everything in this country is corrupt.”

According to the FBI, he said, “We honestly need a fresh restart. I’m waiting for the boogaloo,” and when asked what “boogaloo” meant, he responded, “Civil war 2.”

Supporters of the “Boogaloo” movement use the term as code for a potential second civil war or societal breakdown, often appearing at demonstrations armed with rifles and donning Hawaiian shirts beneath body armor.

Over 1,000 individuals have been indicted for federal offenses related to their actions at the Capitol on Jan. 6, with roughly 600 admitting guilt, predominantly for misdemeanors, which carry maximum sentences of six months to one year.

___ Contributing to this report from Washington was Big Big News writer Lolita Baldor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Capitol riot charges

Who are the Marines that pleaded guilty to Capitol riot charges?

Joshua Abate and Dodge Dale Hellonen, both active-duty members of the Marines Corps at the time of the Capitol riot, pleaded guilty to the charges.

What charges did the Marines plead guilty to?

They pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

When are Abate and Hellonen scheduled to be sentenced?

Both men are set to be sentenced in September.

What are the potential penalties they face?

Each of the three men, including a third active-duty Marine named Micah Coomer who also pleaded guilty, could receive a maximum penalty of six months in prison.

Where were the three men arrested?

Abate was arrested at Fort Meade, Maryland; Coomer in Oceanside, California; and Hellonen in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

What was their involvement in the Capitol riot?

They attended former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally before entering the Capitol. Inside, they positioned a red “Make America Great Again” hat on a statue and took photographs, remaining nearly an hour before leaving.

How many people have been charged in connection with the Capitol riot?

Over 1,000 individuals have been indicted for federal offenses related to their actions at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

More about Capitol riot charges

  • [Capitol riot charges]
  • [Active-duty Marines]
  • [Guilty plea in Capitol riot]
  • [Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally]
  • [The “Boogaloo” movement]

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4 comments

Steven43 June 13, 2023 - 1:46 am

so the people that supposed to protect us were the ones breaking into the capitol?? smh

Reply
Valerie Thompson June 13, 2023 - 2:02 pm

so sad to see this. hope they get what they deserve. what were they thinking!!

Reply
Jay Davidson June 13, 2023 - 7:47 pm

Really? active marines involved in all that madness… this is nuts, I thought our military were better than this

Reply
Martha S. June 13, 2023 - 10:59 pm

can’t belive what im reading, active duty servicemen in the riot? What a disgrace to the uniform…

Reply

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