Virginia man arrested at DC checkpoint with 500 rounds of ammunition, ‘unauthorized’ credentials: police

Greg Nash

A Virginia man was arrested Friday at an inauguration checkpoint in Washington, D.C., after police found him with an “unauthorized” inauguration credential and an unregistered hand gun with more than 500 rounds of ammunition in his car, according to authorities.

In a police incident report shared the The Hill by Metropolitan Police, the man was identified as Wesley A. Beeler of Front Royal, Va. Beeler presented a legitimate credential, however it didn’t grant him access to the restricted area he was seeking to enter.

He was denied passage through the checkpoint, located half a mile from the Capitol at North Capitol Street and E Street Northwest, after the credentials were checked against an approved access list, according to The New York Times.

NBC 4 reported that the man’s white Ford 150 truck was adorned with gun-related bumper stickers including two that read “Assault Life” and “If they come for your guns, Give ‘Em your bullets first.”

After a search of the vehicle, police located a loaded Glock 9MM pistol, 509 rounds of ammunition, a 17-round Glock magazine and 21 12-gauge shotgun shells, according to the police report. 

Beeler admitted he had the pistol when asked by police, according to NBC 4.

Beeler was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police and is charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possessing an unregistered firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, according to court documents.

The U.S. Capitol Police did not immediately respond to The Hill’s requests for comment.

The news of the arrest comes as D.C. has put various security measures in place ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

The FBI reported this week that the agency is tracking “an extensive amount of concerning online chatter” surrounding threats of potential violence around the inaugural events, including calls for armed protests.
“We’re concerned about the potential for violence at multiple protests and rallies planned here in D.C. and at state capital buildings around the country in the days to come that could bring armed individuals within close proximity to government buildings and officials,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a briefing with Vice President Pence Thursday.
To help enforce security, as many as 25,000 National Guardsmen will be positioned in D.C. for the inauguration, at the request of the Secret Service, Capitol Police and U.S. Park Police.

Other proactive measures have been implemented around the city, including the closure of the majority of the National Mall, various Metro stations and several roads. 

Updated 7:05 p.m.

Tags Biden Christopher Wray DC Inauguration Joe Biden Security United States Capitol Wesley A. Beeler
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