LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Two Southern California men faces charges of conspiracy and other crimes, including the assault of a Metropolitan Police Department Officer, in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
An indictment unsealed Monday in the District of Columbia charged 27-year-old Edward Badalian of Los Angeles with conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, tampering with documents or proceedings, and other offenses, according to the Department of Justice. He had been arrested on Nov. 17 and was made his first court appearance in the District of Columbia on Nov. 23.
Badalian was charged in a superseding indictment initially filed in March against 39-year-old Daniel Rodriguez of Fontana. Charges filed in March against Rodriguez included applying an electroshock weapon to the back Metropolitan Police Department Officer Michael Fanone's neck, and the indictment unsealed Monday added a conspiracy charge. Rodriguez has been in custody since he was arrested on March 31, and was arraigned in the District of Columbia on Nov. 16.
According to the indictment, the two men created a Telegram group chat called the "Patriots 45 MAGA Gang" and used it to advocate for violence against certain groups and people that either supported the 2020 Presidential election results, held what they believed to be liberal or communist ideologies, or held positions of authority in government.
In one post, Badalian said "we need to violently remove traitors and if they are in key positions rapidly replace them with able bodied Patriots," according to the indictment.
A message posted by Rodriguez between Dec. 31 and Jan. 4 to a person not identified in the indictment said he would "assassinate Joe Biden" if he got the chance and "would rather die than live under a Biden administration."
Prosecutors allege Badalian collected weapons and tactical gear to bring to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, including respirators, masks, snow goggles, knee pads, and baseball helmets. The gear was among the items used by supporters of former President Trump to storm past barricades to get into the Capitol.
Badalian allegedly went on to boast about his part in the Capitol riot by appearing on the show "Infowars" under the pseudonym Turbo, alongside video provided by someone identified only as "Person One." Following the interview, prosecutors say Badalian and Rodriguez visited Person One's home, unplugged all of their Amazon Alexa devices, and conspired to "delete everything and to transfer the files to a secure hard drive."
However, prosecutors say the defendants did not follow through with their plan to buy a hard drive to download all of Person One's photos and videos, which were subsequently not deleted.
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