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DAO Files Motion to Hold Joshua Macias, Arrested for ‘Stop the Steal’ Election Interference in 2020, in Criminal Contempt

PHILADELPHIA (June 13, 2022) – After receiving new information that places him at a January 5, 2021, meeting with individuals now federally indicted for their leadership roles in planning the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the District Attorney’s Office (DAO) has asked the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to hold Joshua Macias (DOB: 6/17/1978) in criminal contempt.

Macias has already been charged by the DAO with firearms crimes and attempting to interfere with the 2020 presidential election, after he was arrested by Philadelphia Police outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center as election workers were still canvassing votes. The DAO has previously filed motions seeking to revoke his bail, as he has repeatedly violated conditions restricting social media use and rally activity set by the courts.

In the bail revocation motion, the Commonwealth accused Macias of violating the court’s pre-trial conditions by posting his support for Bianca Garcia, a then-state legislative candidate in Texas, on social media. Since then, federal authorities have placed Garcia and Macias at a meeting in a Washington, D.C., underground parking garage, that took place the day before the insurrection, along with Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the violent extremist group Oath Keepers, and Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the violent extremist group Proud Boys.

On January 12, 2022, Rhodes along with 10 other Oath Keepers were federally indicted for seditious conspiracy, related to their roles in the breach of the U.S. Capitol. On June 6, 2022, Tarrio and four other Proud Boys members were federally indicted for seditious conspiracy, related to their roles in the breach of the U.S. Capitol. Seditious Conspiracy is the most serious charge federal authorities have brought against Insurrection defendants to date. It has been brought against a small number of Insurrection defendants.

On Monday, and ahead of a scheduled Contempt hearing on Friday, the District Attorney filed a supplement to a motion to hold Macias in criminal contempt, and further requested that the Court sentence Macias to the maximum penalty of five months and 29 days of incarceration.

“The crimes we allege against Joshua Macias were always extremely serious, and as prosecutors we have an obligation to continuously review this case as new facts and information come to light,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “What we now allege is as follows: Macias, heavily armed, travelled from Virginia to Philadelphia on November 5, 2020, in an effort to interfere with the counting of presidential votes, motivated by his anti-democratic wish to preserve the power of Donald Trump, who lost re-election decisively. One month later, after he was released on cash bail over the Commonwealth’s objection, Macias attended a small, secretive meeting that included two persons now federally indicted for seditious conspiracy in connection with the Capitol insurrection.”

DA Krasner continued:

“Macias also participated in the Capitol insurrection, where he was captured on video declaring then Vice President Mike Pence a ‘Benedict Arnold’ and that ’traitors were within’ while a functional gallows was erected outside the Capitol building. Crowds chanted, ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ around that time. The Commonwealth has previously alleged Macias’ participation on January 6th was a violation of his bail conditions, and that his bail should be revoked and he should be detained pre-trial.

“Given all that we now know and can infer about what Joshua Macias intended — from the time he travelled loaded for bear from Virginia to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, to his participation in a clandestine, pre-insurrection parking garage meeting in Washington, D.C., to his actions on the Capitol grounds themselves on January 6th — we must act. It is logical to infer that Joshua Macias participated in what is likely the greatest crime ever perpetuated against American democracy. In my opinion, Macias’ disdain and contempt for American democracy and our institutions including the courts is clear. We respectfully request that the Court find him in contempt and order him detained for the maximum penalty of five months and 29 days incarceration in Philadelphia County immediately. His trial on the underlying charges is listed for October 2022.”

The supplement motion filed by the DAO Special Investigations Unit will be available upon request once accepted by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas today. The hearing on the Commonwealth’s motion to hold Macias in contempt will be held on Friday, June 17, in room 802 of the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice.

CONTACT:Jane Roh, 215-686-8711, [email protected]

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The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually. Learn more about the DAO by visiting PhillyDA.org.