Two armed Virginia men who were arrested Thursday outside the Philadelphia Convention Center were “coming to deliver a truck full of fake ballots” to the city, CNN affiliate KYW reported, citing prosecutors. The center is one of the places where election workers have been counting votes from the 2020 general election, which includes the race for president. Text messages reveal that the men were concerned about the tallying of votes at the convention center, prosecutors said, according to KYW.
Philadelphia police said they found the men Thursday night after receiving a tip that people with firearms were heading to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in a silver Hummer truck. Officers found a silver Hummer a block from the center — parked and unoccupied — around 10:20 p.m. Thursday, about seven minutes before finding the men, who acknowledged the Hummer was theirs, police said. Both men were carrying loaded handguns, and police found an AR-type rifle in the Hummer.
Philadelphia’s CBS News affiliate reports:
The vehicle with Virginia tags was found unattended on the 200 block of North 13th Street in Center City. A few minutes later, officers stopped two armed men on the street. Police say they did not have a license to carry in Pennsylvania and were placed under arrest. “He had a Beretta .40 caliber pistol under his jacket and a Virginia conceal and carry permit. The state of Pennsylvania does not recognize handgun permits from Virginia, so he was also taken into custody,” Outlaw said.
The men identified the Hummer as theirs. Prosecutors say police obtained two loaded semi-automatic Beretta pistols, an AR-style rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Additional evidence from the vehicle is being investigated, prosecutors say. The car has stickers on it promoting QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory. At the arraignment hearing, the District Attorney’s Office asked for no bail for both Lamotta and Macias but a judge disagreed and set it at $750,000 cash.