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11 alleged Antifa activists charged with felonies in San Diego

Eight suspects were arraigned in court this week, all of whom pleaded not guilty.

11 alleged Antifa activists charged with felonies in San Diego
AP Photo/Sergei Grits
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U.S. prosecutors are finally taking action against Antifa, with the first action against a network of alleged violent Antifa cells in San Diego.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office has charged 11 alleged Antifa members with felony conspiracy and felony assault charges among numerous other crimes, over a riot case where supporters of former President Donald Trump and random bystanders became victims of mob attack in Pacific Beach, California, in January.

According to Newsweek’s Andy Ngo, eight suspects were arraigned in court this week, all of whom pleaded not guilty. According to a statement from the district attorney’s office, the eight suspects were issued search and arrest warrants last week in San Diego County and Los Angeles County. Police recovered three guns, ammunition, body armor, and illegal narcotics.

The operation to bust the alleged Antifa cell is the first of its kind in California and involved cooperation between multiple law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Escondido. According to Ngo, the case is now “sending shockwaves through far-left networks in Southern California, who have been raising funds for their comrades.”

Newsweek reported:

The criminal complaint accuses Alexander Akridge-Jacobs, 31, Jesse Merel Cannon, 31, Joseph Austin Gaskins, 21, Brian Lightfoot, 25, Christian Martinez, 23, Luis Francisco Mora, 30, Bryan Rivera, 21, Faraz Martin Talab, 27, Jeremy Jonathan White, 39, Samuel Howard Ogden, 24, and Erich Louis Yach, 37, of conspiring together and with other unidentified persons to riot and commit violent criminal acts in January.

"The Defendants are alleged to be affiliated with ANTIFA and are organized into two groups, one originating from Los Angeles and the other from San Diego," the charging document states.

"ANTIFA is known to use force, fear, and violence to further their own interests and to suppress the interests of others,” it continues. “This tactic is referred to as 'Direct Action' and is known to mean acts of violence such as assault, battery, assault with deadly weapons, arson, and vandalism. The alleged object of this conspiracy was to incite and participate in a riot using direct action tactics."

On January 9, Trump supporters and conservatives numbering over 100 gathered at the Pacific Beach pier in San Diego to protest Trump’s defeat in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, where they were confronted with an equally sized group of Antifa militants dressed in black uniforms and riot gear. 

As seen on video, the militants carried shields, banners, and signs, pledging their allegiance to the far-left radical Antifa movement.

WATCH:

According to the criminal complaint, the militants assaulted the Trump supporters, causing bodily injuries that match what was captured on videos, some of which showed Antifa members assaulting unarmed civilians with baseball bats and pepper-spraying them.

Others could be seen punching and kicking bystanders. In one such video, a man walking his dog was assaulted by an Antifa militant with pepper spray. Newsweek reports that Jeremy White was charged with animal cruelty over the incident.

"The Antifa-affiliated group surrounded several minors who they believed to be attending the Patriot March, sprayed them with mace and chased them up the boardwalk, shoving one of the minors to the ground. The minor was surrounded and beaten resulting in the minor victim being taken to the hospital to be treated for a concussion," police said.

Newsweek reports:

According to the criminal complaint, “Antifa supporters” had posted on social media calling for a counter direct action against the Trump rally days before. During the riots in 2020 and 2021 in West Coast coast cities like Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles, violent direct actions by Antifa and leftist groups were announced and promoted on Twitter.

The complaint alleges that nine out of the 10 suspects wore black clothing, with the 10th suspect wearing black and a red flannel jacket that had “pro Antifa patches.” Black clothing and black masks are part of a tactic known as black bloc and is used by Antifa groups to evade identification by journalists and law enforcement.

The complaint details how the suspects worked in a coordinated fashion to blind victims with pepper spray before striking them with potentially deadly weapons, punches, kicks and projectiles. 

Further details of the alleged offenders can be found in the Newsweek article.

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  • By Mocha Bezirgan

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