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Virginia men arrested near Philadelphia vote counting location after FBI tip

Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia
Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia
Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia
Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia
Posted at 3:01 PM, Nov 06, 2020

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia police say two armed men from Virginia were arrested Thursday outside the convention center where an ongoing vote count could decide the presidential election.

Police said the 42-year-old Joshua Macias and 61-year-old Antonio LaMotta, who were from Chesapeake, Virginia, traveled to the city in a Hummer and did not have permits to carry the weapons in Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the FBI in Norfolk received a tip Thursday "stating that individuals were in route from Virginia Beach to Philadelphia in a silver Hummer truck and we're in possession of weapons and ammunition."

Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia
A parking violation envelope is affixed to the windshield of a Hummer vehicle parked near the Pennsylvania Convention Center where votes are being counted, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Philadelphia. Police said Friday they arrested two men Thursday for not having permits to carry firearms near the center. Police said the men acknowledged that the Hummer spotted by officers near the center was was their vehicle. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Officers first spotted the silver Hummer, which was adorned with an American flag and a window sticker for the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon, parked unattended at 10:20 p.m.

Two bicycle patrol officers spotted the 61-year-old at 1230 Arch Street just before 1030 p.m. carrying a pistol, according to Outlaw. He was with the 42-year-old, who police said appeared to have a handgun concealed under his jacket.

When officers searched the Hummer, police said an "AR- style rifle" as well as ammunition were recovered.

Police said a woman believed to be traveling with the pair was not arrested.

Election 2020 Protests Philadelphia
A parking violation envelope is affixed to the windshield of a Hummer vehicle parked near the Pennsylvania Convention Center where votes are being counted, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Philadelphia. Police said Friday they arrested two men Thursday for not having permits to carry firearms near the center. Police said the men acknowledged that the Hummer spotted by officers near the center was was their vehicle. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

"My office is currently reviewing the evidence and determining what charges to bring," Philadelphia District Attorney Lawrence S. Krasner said in a Friday afternoon news briefing. "And while we have not finalized our decisions in that regard, because we are still obtaining evidence, as I speak here, those charges definitely will include charges of illegal possession of firearms in Philadelphia, specifically section 6106 and 6108, which are... violations of the Uniform Firearms Act charges."

Krasner said the pair could face other related charges, like possession of an instrument a crime, prohibited offensive weapon or criminal offense under the election code.

The men are expected to be arraigned later Friday or early Saturday, according to Krasner.

Police said their investigation into the incident is ongoing with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.