US Capitol Police arrested a Virginia man as he attempted to pass through a police checkpoint in a locked-down zone of downtown Washington with “unauthorized” inaugural credentials, an unregistered handgun and over 500 rounds of ammunition, according to court documents. This is reported by CNN.
Shortly after 6:30 p.m., Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, stopped at the checkpoint just north of the Capitol building, according to a police affidavit made public Saturday, and presented the credential that was “not authorized to enter the restricted area.”
Beeler was released from custody Saturday after a brief court appearance in Washington, DC, Superior Court. A law enforcement official said that investigators do not consider him a threat to public safety.
When police asked Beeler if he was carrying any weapons, Beeler told them he had a Glock semi-automatic pistol in the center armrest, according to the court document, which noted that the gun was loaded.
Police later recovered the pistol, as well as 509 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the handgun, according to an incident report provided by the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department. Beeler was arrested for possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition, among other offenses, the report said.
CNN had originally reported that the credential Beeler presented was “fake,” citing the law enforcement official, but the affidavit released Saturday described it as “unauthorized.”
Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said Beeler had presented “a non-government issued credential.”
In an interview, Beeler's mother, Charlotte Beeler, said that her son worked in armed security and had been on a job in the Capitol area for the past few days.
He was ordered to stay out of DC except for in-person court appointments and meetings with his lawyer. Government prosecutors had not opposed his release under the conditions.
Beeler appeared via video conference in the hearing wearing a dark jacket and a face mask. He spoke only briefly, once telling a judge "yes, ma'am," when asked if he understood the conditions of his release.
He is scheduled to return to court in June.