By Justin Sink
The Idaho man accused of firing a high-powered rifle at the White House in 2011 may have been upset with federal marijuana policy, prosecutors allege in a notice to introduce additional evidence filed Thursday.
The document said Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 22, “expressed anger towards the government regarding the continued criminalization of marijuana."
It also alleges that Ortega-Hernandez’s motive in the shooting, which left five bullet holes in the White House, “was to punish and kill the president, whom he believed was the head of a government that was oppressing its citizens in various ways, such as by continuing to criminalize the use of marijuana.”
The Secret Service said one of the bullets fired by Ortega-Hernandez broke a pane of the White House’s exterior glass before being stopped by a second pane of stronger glass. Another bullet was found embedded in the exterior of the White House.
The document also reveals that Ortega-Hernandez practiced firing the assault rifle in a “desolate crater” near his home in Idaho Falls, Idaho. According to prosecutors, Ortega-Hernandez fired at the White House from his car, which police later discovered near the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge.
Ortega-Hernandez could face life in prison if convicted on all charges.
Jordy Yager contributed.