Va. man arrested at security checkpoint near Capitol with pistol, 500 rounds of ammunition

A Virginia man was arrested at a D.C. security checkpoint near the Capitol Building Friday with a pistol and over 500 rounds of ammunition, D.C. police said.

They said U.S. Capitol Police arrested Wesley Allen Beeler, of Front Royal, Virginia, around 6:30 p.m. after he tried to pass through a police checkpoint at North Capitol and E Street, Northeast.

U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that Beeler showed officers a “non-government issued credential.”

A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that his credential was valid for inaugural events. However, it was not issued by the government and not recognized by the officers. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

According to court documents, Beeler allegedly tried use the credentials to pass through the checkpoint in a white Ford F150 pickup.

An officer noticed Beeler’s pickup had multiple firearm-based stickers on it, such as “Assault Life” and “If they come for your guns Give ‘Em your bullets first.”

Officers then asked if Beeler had any weapons in the truck, and he told them that he had a Glock 9mm in the center console, according to the court documents.

Beeler was pulled from the vehicle while officers conducted a full search. They found the pistol, with an extended magazine inserted and an additional 500 rounds of ammunition, and a bandolier with 12 gauge shotgun shells. His truck was towed following Beeler’s arrest.

In an interview with news partner NBC4 Washington, Beeler said he got lost heading to his security job and was looking to ask for directions when police stopped him. He said that he is not “a bad person” and forgot he was carrying his weapon in his vehicle.

“Everything I’ve done, every job that I’ve chosen has been to protect people as much as possible,” Beeler said. “I don’t want to be made an enemy, and I just want this to be forgiven so I can continue my life with family and act like it never happened.”

Beeler was charged with carrying a pistol without a license; possession of unregistered firearm, and possession of unregistered ammunition.

WTOP’s J.J. Green, The Associated Press and NBC4 Washington contributed to this report. 

Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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