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QAnon supporter arrested over firearms near 2020 vote-counting center now faces Jan. 6 charges

NBC News 8/16/2022 Ryan J. Reilly

WASHINGTON — A supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory who was arrested after he showed up armed outside of a ballot counting location in Philadelphia in 2020 has now been arrested for allegedly storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Antonio LaMotta was arrested by the FBI in Chesapeake, Virginia, on Tuesday, according to court records.

In November 2020, following former President Donald Trump's lies about the presidential election, LaMotta traveled to the Philadelphia convention center in a silver Hummer featuring a QAnon sticker. He and a friend were found carrying weapons, prosecutors said, and the car was filled with ammunition.


As HuffPost first reported in October 2021, LaMotta was spotted inside the U.S. Capitol on surveillance footage that Capitol Police released in connection with another Jan. 6 case. As NBC News reported last month, LaMotta also showed up in body camera footage released in connection with another Jan. 6 case.

Antonio LaMotta. (Metropolitan Police Department via USADC) © Provided by NBC News Antonio LaMotta. (Metropolitan Police Department via USADC)

The FBI affidavit states that an array of evidence including "social media postings" provide probable cause that LaMotta violated four misdemeanor statutes: entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading in a Capitol building.The FBI affidavit notes that LaMotta was "arrested by the Philadelphia Police Department for carrying a firearm without a license" and that FBI Special Agent Matthew King interviewed LaMotta after his arrest that day and was able to identify LaMotta in the Capitol images.

The FBI, which has received an influx of threats since the search of former President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago last week, has the names of hundreds of additional Capitol attack participants who have not been arrested, but special agents, federal prosecutors, and the court system are overwhelmed by the volume of cases related to Jan. 6. About 850 defendants have been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack so far, but the number of participants who entered the building surpasses 2,500, and the FBI has asked for help identifying hundreds more for assaults that mostly took place outside the Capitol building.

There was no indication of whether the government would seek LaMotta's detention until trial. LaMotta, who posted about QAnon on social media, is still awaiting trial in his Philadelphia case alongside his friend, Joshua Macias. Both men were charged with firearms offenses for the 2020 incident, after officers observed them carrying weapons and found an AR-15 weapon in their truck, with approximately 160 rounds of ammunition. Neither man had a valid Pennsylvania firearms license at the time, according to law enforcement.

Macias was also in Washington, D.C., for the events of Jan. 6 and was present during a meeting between the heads of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers the night before the attack. He has not been charged in relation to the insurrection.

In June, the Philadelphia District Attorney sought to revoke Macias' bail, and a Philadelphia judge warned Macias to stay off of social media but declined to lock him up again.

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