Three active-duty U.S. Marines were arrested and charged this week with breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the latest in a line of current or former members of the military associated with the riot.
The enlisted Marines – Cpl. Micah Coomer and Sgts. Joshua Abate and Dodge Dale Hellonen – are each facing four misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct in the Capitol building with the intent to impede Congress.
According to a sworn complaint by an FBI agent, the bureau learned about the three men after Coomer posted on Instagram photos of himself inside the Capitol with the caption, "Glad to be apart [sic] of history."
The complaint says Coomer expressed support for the Boogaloo Bois, a far-right extremist group that advocates civil war. The FBI matched images of the three men with their military ID photos, and also obtained geolocation records showing that their cellphones were around the Capitol that day.
The FBI affidavit also says that, when being interviewed for a security clearance, Abate disclosed he had gone into the Capitol with two “buddies” during the riot but said he decided not to tell anyone about his involvement.
All three men have been enlisted in the Marines for more than four years, according to a Marine Corps spokesman.
None of the men have entered pleas and no lawyers for them are listed in court records.
"We are aware of an investigation and the allegations," a Marine Corps spokesperson said. "The Marine Corps is fully cooperating with the appropriate authorities in support of the investigation."
Abate is assigned to the Marine Corps’ Cryptologic Support Battalion at Fort Meade, Maryland, also home to the National Security Agency, the Pentagon’s digital spying arm.
According to the George Washington University’s program on extremism, with these cases included, 121 of the 943 defendants charged in the Capitol riot are current or former members of the military, or around 12% of the cases. About 6.4% of Americans are military veterans, according to census data.