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Virginia man arrested at DC checkpoint says it was an 'honest mistake'

The Virginia man who was arrested Friday at a restricted checkpoint near the Capitol with what police say was an unregistered firearm and ammunition said Saturday the situation was an "honest mistake," according to The Washington Post

Wesley Allen Beeler was arrested on five charges and released from Capitol Police custody following the incident.

During an interview with the Post, Beeler said that he's a contractor for private securities company MVP Protective Services and was given the credentials he showed police at the checkpoint, located half a mile from the Capitol, by his employer.

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MVP Protective Services could not be immediately reached for comment by The Hill.

Beeler alleged he was running late for work and mistakenly pulled up to the restricted area as a result of getting lost on unfamiliar roads.

"I pulled up to a checkpoint after getting lost in D.C. because I’m a country boy," he told the Post. "I showed them the inauguration badge that was given to me."

Authorities said they found a loaded Glock 9MM pistol, 509 rounds of ammunition, a 17-round Glock magazine and 21 12-gauge shotgun shells when they searched Beeler's truck during the incident, according to a police report. 

Beeler claims that he forgot he had the Glock pistol and ammunition in his truck and that he is authorized to legally carry the weapon in his home state of Virginia.

When asked by police if he had any weapons on him, he admitted to having the pistol. He reportedly denied having the 500 rounds of ammunition, however.

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"It was just me forgetting to take it out of my truck before I left for work," he said, according to the Post. "I don’t know what the D.C. laws are. It still comes back on me, but I’m not a criminal."

Beeler was 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.

His arrest comes as Washington gears up for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE's inauguration on Jan. 20. Tensions have run high in the nation's capital following the mob that attacked the Capitol last week.

Following the riots, members of the National Guard were deployed to the building, and some 25,000 National Guard troops are expected to be in D.C. for Biden's inauguration.