2 Men Arrested Near Where Ballots Are Being Counted in Philadelphia

BY CHARLOTTE CUTHBERTSON AND ZACHARY STIEBER

PHILADELPHIA—Two men were arrested this week near the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where election workers are counting ballots, police officials confirmed on Friday.

A 61-year-old Pacific Islander male carrying a Beretta 9 mm pistol in plain view in a holster on his belt was taken into custody because he did not have a handgun permit, Police Chief Danielle Outlaw told reporters during a press briefing.

A 42-year-old white male carrying a Beretta 40-caliber pistol under his jacket was also arrested. He said he had a concealed carry permit from Virginia but Pennsylvania does not recognize permits from that state, officials said.

The men said they traveled to Philadelphia in a silver Hummer that was parked nearby.

Police officers were given consent to search the vehicle and found an AR-style rifle with no serial number on it and approximately 160 rounds of ammunition.

The crowd outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Nov. 6, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Police made the arrests on Thursday, hours after the FBI in Norfolk, Virginia received a tip that people were en route in a silver vehicle to Philadelphia from Virginia Beach with weapons and ammunition.

Philadelphia police officers received information that individuals armed with firearms were en route to the Convention Center area operating a silver Hummer truck, a police spokesman confirmed to The Epoch Times via email.

Philadelphia District Attorney Lawrence Krasner, a Democrat, told reporters that his office is reviewing the evidence and deciding what charges to bring.

Those charges will definitely include illegal possession of firearms and could include the charge of possession of an instrument of crime or possession of a prohibited offensive weapon.

Philadelphia District Attorney Lawrence Krasner during a press conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Nov. 6, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
Police officers line up their bikes between the Biden and Trump rallies outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Nov. 6, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The men have not been named publicly. They will be identified after their preliminary arraignment on Saturday.

The FBI is assisting Philadelphia police with the probe.

A woman who was with the men was not arrested.

“At this time we do not have indications that the story is bigger than these two individuals,” Krasner said.

Some media outlets reported that the men were connected to QAnon, a loose network of people that holds theories regarding the so-called deep state, or opponents of President Donald Trump embedded inside the U.S. government. The network sometimes claims that members of the world’s social, economic, and political elites have engaged in child sex trafficking, abuse, and cannibalism, citing cases involving Jeffrey Epstein.

The ballot counting room inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Nov. 6, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

“I don’t have information to indicate that any of them are known members of an extremist group,” Krasner said.

“I have heard information and I think I’ve seen photographs that indicate some form of QAnon designation,” he added.

Asked why the man said they traveled to Philadelphia, officials said they wouldn’t answer the question at this time, in light of the ongoing investigation.

Supporters of Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gathered outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Friday to call for counting all the votes, or all the legal votes.

“While it was vocal, it did not appear to be violent,” Krasner said. “So I would caution all of you and I would ask that all of you be cautious and how you report on a situation that may turn out to be nothing more than two people deciding to come to Philadelphia at a particular time, for a somewhat unknown purpose.”

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