Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Four ‘Three Percenter’ militia members sentenced to prison over Jan. 6 charges

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May30,2024

Four “Three Percenter” militia members were sentenced to prison Friday over charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Erik Scott Warner, 48; Felipe Antonio Martinez, 50; Derek Kinnison, 42 and Ronald Mele, 54, all hail from California, according to the release. The four men were sentenced Friday to prison, for periods of time that ranged from 21 to 33 months.

“All defendants were convicted of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and obstruction of an official proceeding, both felony offenses, following a 17-day jury trial,” the release said. 

Warmer and Kinnison were also convicted on felony charges of tampering with documents or records, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said.

“In addition to the felony convictions, all four men were also found guilty of misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds,” the release said.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered each defendant to pay $2,000 in restitution and complete 36 months of supervised release in addition to their prison terms, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Per evidence at trial, the men “coordinated and conspired together to arrange travel from California to Washington, D.C., to collect weapons, and to obstruct Congress’ certification of the Electoral College” prior to Jan. 6, according to the release.

The men went to the Capitol following former President Trump’s “Stop The Steal” rally at the Ellipse in D.C. on the date of the attacks, according to the release.

“As the four men approached the Capitol at approximately 2:00 p.m., Kinnison announced, ‘This is the storm of the Capitol,’ as they moved through the crowd,” the release continued. “By approximately 2:10 p.m., Warner had joined rioters ascending the northwest stairs to the Upper West Terrace, at a location police had been defending moments earlier.  As he ascended the stairs, carrying bear spray and a thick wooden flag pole like a baton, Warner called out for the rioters to ‘hold the line.’”

Martinez, Kinnison, and Mele came up against a police line on the northwest lawn, and “Mele called out for the crowd to ‘Push!  Push!  Push!’ as the officers on the lawn were surrounded, assaulted, and forced to retreat,” the release said.

Warner was able to get into the Capitol by way of a broken window. Martinez, Kinnison, and Mele learned via phone that Warner got in, and Martinez said, “‘We have to get up there,’” according to the release.

“All three men then moved together to ascend to the Upper West Terrace to join Warner,” the release said. “As they ascended the northwest stairs, Mele shot a ‘selfie’ style video, in which he proclaimed, ‘Storm the Capitol!’ The group stormed the Capitol wearing plate carriers and other tactical gear and carrying knives and cans of bear spray.”

The FBI arrested the men in June 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said.

“Three Percenters are part of the militia movement, which supports the idea of a small number of dedicated ‘patriots’ protecting Americans from government tyranny,” according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

“The Three Percenter concept, created in 2008, is based on an inaccurate historical claim that only three percent of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War against the British,” according to the ADL.

Many Three Percenters are not associated with any particular groups, but they may join or form traditional militia groups. They also often form non-paramilitary groups or online networks, according to the ADL.

Over 1,300 people have been charged in almost every state in connection with the “breach” of the Capitol, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia noted in the release. 

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Four ‘Three Percenter’ militia members sentenced to prison over Jan. 6 charges”
  1. I believe that the sentencing of these militia members sends a strong message that such violent acts and attempts to obstruct official proceedings will not be tolerated. It’s reassuring to see justice being served in the aftermath of the Capitol riot.

  2. I believe that it is crucial for justice to be served in cases like these where individuals conspired to obstruct official proceedings and engage in disruptive conduct. It sets a necessary precedent that such actions will not be tolerated in our society.

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