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Mercer Daily Voice serves East Windsor, Ewing Township, Hamilton Township, Hightstown, Hopewell, Lawrence, Pennington, Princeton, Robbinsville, Trenton, West Windsor & Windsor

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Philly Judge Won't Drop Election Charges Against VA Men Who Came To 'Straighten Out' Vote Count

Antonio LaMotta and Joshua Macias Photo Credit: Philadelphia PD
Antonio LaMotta and Joshua Macias Photo Credit: Philadelphia PD

A Philadelphia judge on Thursday refused to dismiss election charges against a pair of Virginia men, who were apparently armed with an AR-15 when police stopped them near a vote-counting center during the 2020 Presidential Elections, news reports say.

Joshua Macias, 42, and Antonio LaMotta, 61 -- both of Chesapeake, VA -- were originally arrested on weapons offenses, although LaMotta's charge was dropped as he was licensed to carry in his home state.

Bike patrol officers stopped the two men around 10:30 p.m., on Nov. 5, and found them in possession a pair of guns -- which they did not have permits to carry in Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

LaMotta and Macias were apparently armed with an AR-15 and had recently bought parts for the rifle, along with a stockpile of ammo, the outlet said.

They had traveled from Virginia Beach to "straighten things out" in Philadelphia as workers counted the mail-in votes, the Inquirer said citing a law enforcement source.

Their car -- a silver Hummer found parked on North 13th Street near the convention center -- boasted QAnon decals and other bumper stickers supporting conspiracy theorist groups, news reports say.

LaMotta and Macias were later charged with attempted interference with primaries and elections and of conspiracy.

Their attorneys on March 18 argued that they were being punished for their beliefs, and that there was no evidence they were trying to interfere with the election, CBS3 reports.

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