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Marine with Michigan ties facing charges in Jan 6. Capitol riot

Marine with Michigan ties facing charges
Posted at 11:22 AM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 13:30:39-05

WXYZ-TV WEB TEAM & ASSOCIATED PRESS — A United States Marine with Michigan ties is now facing charges along with two others in connection to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

RELATED: 2 years since the Capitol riots, here's where the cases against Michigan suspects stand

According to court documents unsealed on January 19, the investigation into Dodge Dale Hellonen began when fellow Marine Micah Coomer allegedly posted photographs from inside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 to social media.

Investigators were reportedly able to identify Coomer, Hellonen, who is said to be based at Camp Lejeune and has a Michigan driver's license, and Joshua Abate, another Marine, from video footage taken that day.

It is alleged that Coomer, Abate and Hellonen unlawfully entered the Capitol Building. The criminal complaint says all three of the men were captured on surveillance video throughout the Capitol Building using their cell phones to take pictures, videos and answer calls. 

The men spent about 52 minutes inside the Capitol, authorities say. At one point while in the rotunda, they put a red “Make American Great Again” hat on a statue to take pictures with it, according to court papers. Hellonen was carrying a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, authorities said.

No defense lawyers for the men were listed in the court docket, so it was not immediately clear whether they have attorneys to comment on their behalf.

Their service records show they are all active-duty Marines. Maj. Kevin Stephensen, a spokesman for the Marine Corps, said it is aware of the allegations and “is fully cooperating with appropriate authorities in support of the investigation.”

Hellonen, Coomer and Abate are facing the following charges: Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority, Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds, Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; and Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.

Nearly 1,000 people have been charged so far in the riot and the tally increases by the week. Almost 500 people have pleaded guilty to riot-related charges and more than three dozen have been convicted at trial.

View the Statement of Facts below:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.