Armed men arrested near Pennsylvania Convention Center identified

Saturday, November 7, 2020
Armed men arrested near Pennsylvania Convention Center identified
Police received a tip that individuals, armed with firearms, were on their way to the Convention Center area in a silver Hummer truck.

PHILADELPHIA -- Two armed men have been charged after being found near the Philadelphia convention center where an ongoing vote count could decide the presidential election, officials said.

According to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, Joshua Macias, 42, and Antonio Lamotta, 61, both of Chesapeake, Va., have been charged with Concealed Firearm Without a License, a third-degree felony, and Carrying a Firearm on Public Streets or Public Property, a first-degree misdemeanor.

A woman was also with them, but she was not placed under arrest, officials said.

Antonio Lamotta, 61 (left) and Joshua Macias, 42 (right)

On Thursday, the Philadelphia Police Department received a tip that individuals, armed with firearms, were on their way to the Convention Center area in a silver Hummer truck.

The tip involved a group, possibly a family, who drove up from Virginia, intent on "straightening things out" during the vote count at the Convention Center.

At 10:20 p.m., officers spotted an unoccupied silver Hummer truck parked at 230 North 13th Street and alerted that over police radio.

Minutes later, police said, two bicycle patrol officers discovered Macias and Lamotta.

Macias had a .40-caliber Beretta handgun inside his jacket, LaMotta had a 9mm Beretta in a holster and an AR-style rifle and ammunition were found inside the vehicle, Outlaw said. Authorities initially said that the rifle did not have a serial number but later said that it did.

Police said neither had a valid Pennsylvania permit to carry and were both placed under arrest.

According to authorities, the men said the Hummer was their vehicle.

An additional gun was recovered from the inside the Hummer, police said.

The Philadelphia Police Department investigation is ongoing between the PPD and FBI. No injuries were reported.

On Friday, the Hummer was still on 13th Street near Vine.

The vehicle had a window sticker and a hat with the logo for the internet group QAnon, which is known for spreading conspiracy theories. The FBI has labeled them a domestic terror threat.

At least 24 congressional candidates in this current election have endorsed or given credit to conspiracy theories promoted by the group.

"At this time we do not have indication that the story is bigger than two individuals," Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Friday.

Bail was set at $750,000 each for Macias and Lamotta.

SEE ALSO: Dueling protests in Philadelphia as vote counting continues in presidential election

Biden and Trump supporters are gathering in Philadelphia on Thursday as votes continue to be counted in Pennsylvania.

Inside the Convention Center, workers have been tallying hundreds of thousands of votes cast by Philadelphia residents.

Results for the state PA counties can be found here.

All eyes have been on battleground Pennsylvania as the race tightens between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the race for the White House.

Some of the state's most heavily populated locales, including Montgomery and Chester counties in the Philadelphia suburbs, reported finishing their tallies. The Trump campaign tried to stop the count in Philadelphia itself - alleging city officials were depriving their observers of meaningful access - but a federal judge refused to go along, instead urging the sides to forge an agreement. Speaking from the White House, Trump made unsupported allegations that Democrats in Pennsylvania and elsewhere were trying to steal the election.

SEE ALSO: Race between Trump, Biden tightens as Pennsylvania ballot count continues

Despite a flurry of legal action by Trump and the Republican Party over aspects of the count, counties across Pennsylvania headed toward the finish line of a massive tabulating effort that included millions of mail-in ballots. Pennsylvania remained the largest electoral prize yet to be called.

The Trump campaign later filed an emergency action in federal court, asserting the city had failed to comply with the state court order. The campaign asked a federal judge to halt the count "so long as Republican observers are not present as required by state law."

The city insisted it had moved barricades as ordered, even as it appealed the state court ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, citing concerns over worker safety amid the coronavirus pandemic and the potential for intimidation.

At an evening hearing, U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond, an appointee of former GOP President George W. Bush, told the Trump campaign and city officials to work it out. He expressed exasperation as lawyers bickered about which side was following the rules.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.