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Armed men arrested near Philadelphia vote counting location

Associated Press

Philadelphia – Two men armed with handguns were arrested Thursday near the Philadelphia convention center where an ongoing vote count could decide the presidential election, police said.

The men, ages 42 and 61, traveled to the city from the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area in a Hummer and did not have permits to carry the weapons in Pennsylvania, police said.

They were arrested after the FBI in Virginia relayed a tip about their plans to Philadelphia police. Officers stopped the men on the street about a block away from the vehicle, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

The 61-year-old man had a 9mm Beretta in a holster and the 42-year-old man had a .40-caliber Beretta handgun inside his jacket, Outlaw said. An AR-style rifle without a serial number and ammunition were found inside the vehicle, Outlaw said.

A woman with the men was not arrested, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said.

The arrests drew outsized attention amid heightened tensions over the undecided presidential race, but officials cautioned against reading too much into them. There was no indications that anyone else was involved or that the men are members of an extremist group. They did not say why the men went to Philadelphia.

A parking violation envelope is affixed to the windshield of a Hummer vehicle parked near the Pennsylvania Convention Center where votes are being counted, Friday in Philadelphia.

A silver Hummer with Virginia license plates was parked Friday at the location where police say they found the men. It was adorned with an American flag and a window sticker for the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon.

The men will be charged with firearms offenses. Their names have not been made public. They have yet to be arraigned. Information on lawyers who could comment on their behalf was not immediately available.