The U.S. Capitol Police arrested a person at a safety checkpoint in Washington on Friday after he flashed an “unauthorized” inauguration credential and a search of his truck discovered an unregistered handgun and greater than 500 rounds of ammunition, the authorities stated.
The arrest comes as regulation enforcement officers have tried to fortify Washington ahead of Inauguration Day on Wednesday, once they worry that extremists emboldened by the assault on the Capitol by President Trump’s supporters on Jan. 6 may search to trigger violence. A militarized “inexperienced zone” is being established downtown, tens of 1000’s of National Guard members are flooding the town, and a metal fence has gone up across the Capitol grounds upfront of the swearing-in of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.
The person arrested on Friday night, Wesley A. Beeler, of Entrance Royal, Va., had pushed as much as a safety checkpoint lower than half a mile from the Capitol grounds and offered “an unauthorized inauguration credential,” in accordance with a press release from a Capitol Police officer filed in a District of Columbia court docket on Saturday. The officer, Roger Dupont, stated that he had checked the credential in opposition to a listing and that he discovered the person’s credential didn’t give him the authority to enter the restricted space.
Officers searched the truck, which had a number of gun-related bumper stickers, and located a loaded Glock pistol, 509 rounds for the pistol and 21 shotgun shells, the police stated. Mr. Beeler had admitted having the Glock within the truck’s middle console when he was requested if there have been weapons within the automobile, they stated.
Mr. Beeler, who couldn’t be reached for remark, was charged with 5 crimes, together with possessing a weapon and ammunition in Washington with out having it registered as required. The paperwork filed in court docket and an incident report from the town’s Metropolitan Police Division don’t make clear why the person had tried to entry a restricted space, nor do they supply extra particulars concerning the credential the police say he offered.
Legislation enforcement officers have stated they’re alarmed by chatter amongst far-right teams and different racist extremists who’re threatening to focus on the nation’s capital to protest Mr. Biden’s electoral victory. Federal businesses have tried to maintain some individuals who breached the Capitol with weapons earlier this month from returning to the town, together with by proscribing their means to board business planes, in accordance with an administration official.
Mr. Biden has resisted calls to maneuver the inauguration ceremony indoors for the sake of security. His inauguration committee had already been planning a scaled-back celebration with digital parts due to the coronavirus.