Virginia man arrested with ‘unauthorized’ inauguration pass, handgun, ammo at checkpoint


FILE – In this Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, file photo, signs are posted to close the area around the U.S. Capitol ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON (AP/NBC/News Nation Now) — Capitol Police arrested a Virginia man for allegedly trying to enter through a Washington, D.C. checkpoint armed with a gun, ammunition, and fake credentials, according to court documents released Saturday.

Federal authorities said Wesley Allen Beeler, of Front Royal, Virginia, was arrested Friday after he tried to make his way through security checkpoints in downtown D.C., which have been put in place ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Court documents say Beeler approached the checkpoint just after 6:30 p.m. but did not have a valid credential for that area. When he arrived, Beeler showed officers his fake inauguration credentials in an effort to get inside the perimeter, authorities said.

NBC says Beeler allegedly presented an “unauthorized Inauguration credential” to a Capitol Police officer. They did not describe what sort of document he showed that raised suspicion.

An officer noticed he had “firearms-related stickers” on his pick-up truck and asked him if he had any weapons inside.

The court papers say Beeler told the officers he had a handgun under the armrest and police detained him at the scene.

NewsNation Now later confirmed and reported that the handgun was loaded with 16 rounds of ammunition and a round chamber ready to fire, authorities said.

Additionally, police found 509 rounds of ammunition, a twenty-one 12 gauge shotgun shell, and a handgun magazine in the vehicle.

Authorities said he didn’t have a license to carry the gun in Washington.

Beeler was arrested for several offenses, including possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition. Beeler was also charged with carrying a pistol without a license.

His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment with the Associated Press.

It is not clear what Beeler was planning to do once inside the secured perimeter.

You can read the full court documents below.

Documents were released Saturday, Jan. 16 by NewsNation Now (Taylor Delandro)

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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