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Armed man arrested at security checkpoint near U.S. Capitol

Armed National Guard Troops
Armed National Guard troops help run a checkpoint in Washington DC, to secure the streets leading to the US Capitol building, Jan 15, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

U.S. Capitol Police arrested a man from Virginia on Friday when he tried to cross a checkpoint near the Capitol in Washington, D.C., with a loaded gun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, U.S. media reported Saturday citing D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

Identified as Wesley Allen Beeler from Front Royal, Virginia, the man told police he was carrying a Glock semi-automatic pistol, which was later discovered to have been loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition and a round chamber ready to fire, CNN reported, citing a source familiar with the case.

Beeler was stopped at a checkpoint at North Capitol and E Street NE, just north of the Capitol building, according to the report.

He also had what was described as a fake credential for Wednesday’s inauguration event for President-elect Joe Biden.

Police later recovered the pistol, as well as 509 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the handgun, CNN said, citing an incident report from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Beeler was arrested for possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition, among other offenses.

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The arrest came amid heightened security measures in the national capital ahead of the inauguration. Up to 25,000 National Guard members have been authorized by the Pentagon for the city, more than the amount of the troops currently stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

“Every state, territory and the District of Columbia will have National Guard men and women supporting the inauguration,” the National Guard Bureau said in a statement Friday.

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