Two Virginia Gunmen Arrested at Philly Convention Center – May Be Related to Ballot Count

Philly DA Larry Krasner during a Friday afternoon press conference

By Kelly Moran

PHILADELPHIA––Two Virginia men have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a license as well as carrying a firearm on public streets in what could be—or not be—an attempt to cause harm to ballot counters at the Convention Center here this week.

The men have been identified as Joshua Macias and Antonio Lamotta, both from Chesapeake Bay, VA, and are currently being held in custody by the Philadelphia Police Department. There was also a woman reported to have been traveling with the pair, but her potential involvement is unknown and she was not arrested.

Police were alerted that two armed men were heading to Philadelphia in a silver Hummer SUV. Macias and Lamotta were stopped when officers spotted the unattended vehicle near the Convention Center with Virginia license plates.

In a press conference held earlier today, District Attorney Larry Krasner urged the media to be careful on their reporting of the matter, arguing “[this] may turn out to be nothing more than two people deciding to come to Philadelphia at a particular time for a somewhat unknown purpose.

“Obviously we take this very seriously,” he continued, “but we do not think exaggerating what we know is constructive.

“We do not have indications that the story is bigger than these two individuals,” he said, “I think it is important to recognize that the election task force of the DA’s office and the election efforts of the Philadelphia police department, were very successful on election day in preventing intimidation, coercion, [and] suppression of voting in Philadelphia.”

Krasner continued, claiming that “there was no significant presence of hate groups, of white supremacists, of neo-Nazis; that is not something that was observed out there, and the interaction that I saw between supporters of one candidate and supporters of the other candidate… while it was vocal, did not appear to be violent.”

Police found two semi-automatic Beretta pistols, and one semi-automatic AR-15 rifle on the pair. Krasner revealed that there was a total of 160 rounds of ammunition found in the weapons, as well as an extra supply in the vehicle they had driven up from Virginia.

Krasner confirmed that the situation is still being investigated by a collaborative team made up of the District Attorney’s Office Election Task Force, Gun Crimes Strategies and Prevention Collaborative, Philadelphia police, FBI, and other U.S. Attorney’s Office representatives.

“There is the possibility that we may also bring a criminal charge or more, one or more, under the Election Code,” said Krasner, referring to the set of laws first published in 1937 designed to regulate voting and practices.

It is currently unknown when Macias and Lamotta will face the court, but their third degree felony and first degree misdemeanor charges could have them each facing up to 12 years in prison—seven years for weapon concealment and five for possessing weapons without a license, according to Philadelphia Magazine.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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