Police: 2 Virginia men armed with handguns, assault rifle arrested near convention center

Two men armed with loaded handguns were arrested Thursday near the Philadelphia convention center where an ongoing vote count could decide the presidential election, police said.

Joshua Macias, 42, and Antonio LaMotta, 61, traveled from the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area in a Hummer and did not have permits to carry the weapons in Pennsylvania, police said.

They were arrested after the FBI in Virginia relayed a tip about their plans to Philadelphia police. Officers stopped the men on the street about a block away from the vehicle, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

Antonio Lamotta, Joshua Macias (Philadelphia Police Department)

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.

A silver Hummer with Virginia license plates was parked Friday at the location where police say they found the men. It was adorned with an American flag and a window sticker for the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon.

A woman with the men was not arrested, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said.

Macias and LaMotta, both of Chesapeake, Virginia, remained in police custody on Friday and were awaiting arraignment on weapons charges: carrying a concealed firearm without a license and carrying a firearm on a public street.

"At this time we do not have indications that the story is bigger than these two individuals," Krasner said.

In a release, the Philadelphia chapter of the Anti-Defamation League found the incident "disturbing" and commended the Philadelphia Police Department for their "swift action in apprehending two suspects."

"We call on our leaders to condemn extremism in all forms, forcefully reject calls for violence, and support the orderly continuation of our electoral process,”  ADL Regional Director Shira Goodman said.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center hosts the commonwealth's vote-count, which the Trump campaign has desperately tried to stop amid a dwindling lead. It was also the sight of large dueling protests on Thursday.


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