Six men from California who allegedly organized themselves as a “DC Brigade,” including one man who spoke at a right-wing rally in Washington, DC, the day before the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, face new conspiracy charges from the Justice Department, according to court documents made public on Thursday.
The case adds to a pile of prosecutions that investigators have pursued alleging that groups of American extremists from far-right organizations like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers worked together to plan the attack on Congress’ certification of the presidential vote.
This is the first case against multiple people said to be affiliated with the Three Percenters.
The alleged Three Percenter conspirators are: Alan Hostetter, of San Clemente, Russell Taylor, of Ladera Ranch, Erik Scott Warner of Menifee, Felipe Antonio “Tony” Martinez and Derek Kinnison, of Lake Elsinore, and Ronald Mele, of Temecula.
Kinnison had written in an encrypted app the group used for planning that he, Martinez and Warner took part in the Three Percenters militia, which prosecutors say supported an armed revolution.
Taylor, a speaker at a January 5 rally for then-President Donald Trump, is also accused of carrying a knife and telling the crowd during the January 6 siege to “move forward” and head “inside!”
In February, the FBI raided Hostetter’s and Taylor’s homes.
Hostetter had founded the American Phoenix Project to oppose pandemic restrictions in 2020, and worked with Taylor and an unnamed person later in the year to claim the election had been stolen from Trump, according to the indictment Thursday.
Hostetter and Taylor also co-sponsored the pro-Trump rally near the Supreme Court on January 5, one day before the attack, CNN previously reported.
Footage of the rally shows the men spewing militant vitriol: Hostetter told the crowd to prepare for “war tomorrow” against “vipers” in Congress who refused to nullify President Joe Biden’s win. Taylor said, “We will not return to our peaceful way of life until this election is made right.”
Leading up to January 6, Hostetter and Taylor booked rooms at the Kimpton George Hotel and had a Telegram chat they named “The California Patriots-Answer the Call Jan 6.”
Another Telegram chat, used by all six defendants, said in its “about” section that it would serve as the communications for “able bodied individuals” who on January 6 were “willing to fight,” according to the indictment.
Another of the indicted men, Ronald Mele, wrote on Facebook that he planned to bring “gear,” and he stayed at a Courtyard Marriott in Washington, DC, prosecutors said.
Mele, Warner, Kinnison and Martinez planned a cross-country road trip to make it to the Trump rally, prosecutors said.
The four also discussed using earpieces connected to radios and stashing guns in their SUV, the indictment said.
CNN’s requests for comment to Hostetter on Thursday went unanswered.
Dyke Huish, an attorney for Taylor, told CNN his client has not been arrested and that Taylor plans to self-report to authorities on Friday.
“Mr. Taylor intends to appear in court and intends to enter a not guilty plea,” Huish said. “(The indictment) came as a surprise to us.”