Man Arrested at Inauguration Checkpoint With Unauthorized Credential Says He Made Honest Mistake
A Virginia man who showed police an unauthorized inauguration credential at a checkpoint along the perimeter securing downtown Washington, D.C. ahead of Inauguration Day was arrested after a gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found in his vehicle, police said.
Meanwhile, Wesley Allen Beeler, of Front Royal, says he made an honest mistake.
Beeler pulled up to a security checkpoint at North Capitol and E streets Northwest about 6:30 p.m. Friday in a white Ford 150 truck with Virginia tags and gun-related decals, according to U.S. Capitol Police records.
Beeler said he’d been working as a security guard in D.C. when he got lost and stopped to ask for directions. He said he provided police with an inauguration placard he was given for the security job and had used several times before.
Authorities didn't detail what Beeler provided, but when the credential didn’t match up with a list of people authorized to enter the perimeter, police investigated further.
They said the truck Beeler was driving was decorated with firearm decals, including ones that said "Assault Life" and "If they come for your guns, Give 'Em your bullets first."
A gun with a high-capacity magazine inserted and ammunition were found in the vehicle, police said. The gun was not registered in Washington, D.C., police said.
Police said they also found "509 9MM rounds of hollow point & ball ammunition" and 21 12-guage shotgun shells.
Beeler didn’t deny having a gun, but questioned the amount of ammunition police said they found.
He was arrested and taken to U.S. Capitol Police Headquarters for processing.
Beeler, who is a former corrections officer at the Rappahannock Regional Jail, 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 D.C. police.
Beeler was released from custody and ordered to stay out of D.C., which will mean he’ll lose his job working security in the District, he said.
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