A Virginia man was arrested and charged in Washington, D.C. after trying to go through a U.S. Capitol checkpoint with “non-government issued” credentials, a loaded weapon and 500 round of ammunition.
CNN reported on the various closures and checkpoints implemented around the Capitol as President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration draws nears. The preparations come following a Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol, where supporters of President Donald Trump rioted and stormed the building as lawmakers were voting to certify the Electoral College votes for Biden. (RELATED: Inside The Capitol Rotunda Riot — What Actually Happened)
An individual, CNN first reported, was arrested Friday after being stopped at one of the checkpoints on the north side of the Capitol.
“At a checkpoint, he stopped, police – it was a pickup truck – and law enforcement there asked him some questions,” CNN’s crime and justice correspondent Shimon Prokupecz said on “CNN Newsroom” Saturday. “He showed them what they say are fake credentials, for the inauguration credentials. His name is Wesley Allen Bealer. He’s from Virginia, and Police say they also found a gun, a .9 millimeter Glock inside his pickup truck and also 500 rounds of ammunition.”
“We don’t know what he was up to, we don’t know why he had this weapon we don’t know why he had all this ammunition,” the CNN correspondent added. “There’s nothing to indicate obviously that he was coming here to do any harm. But given all the security measures, and given everything that’s been going on, obviously law enforcement on high alert, so they stopped this individual, they questioned him. And this is what they found: He has been arrested and he’s facing charges for the weapon and ammunition.”
New: US Capitol Police arrested a Virginia man as he attempted to pass through a police checkpoint in downtown Washington Friday with fake inaugural credentials, a loaded handgun & over 500 rounds of ammunition, CNN reporting.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) January 16, 2021
The man’s family said he was not accused of having fake credentials, but rather he presented “non-gov’t” credentials, according to Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig. He was reportedly hired as private security and is being charged with carrying firepower into D.C. without a permit, Leonnig added.
Capitol Police identified the suspect as Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, from Front Royal, Va. in a statement to the Daily Caller.
Capitol Police also confirmed Beeler “presented a non-government issued credential, and the officers observed a handgun in plain sight in the Suspect’s vehicle. A search of the vehicle also found numerous rounds of ammunition.”
Beeler has been charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possessing an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition, police said.
This story has been updated.