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Man Arrested on Gun Charges at Inauguration Checkpoint Says He Made Honest Mistake

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 1/17/2021 Sophia Barnes and Darcy Spencer
a traffic light on a city street at night: WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 16: The U.S. Capitol is seen behind barricades and a checkpoint during sunrise on January 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation’s capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) © Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 16: The U.S. Capitol is seen behind barricades and a checkpoint during sunrise on January 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation’s capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

A Virginia man was arrested at a checkpoint along the perimeter securing downtown Washington, D.C., ahead of Inauguration Day after he showed police a "non-government issued" inauguration credential and officers found a gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his pickup truck.

Wesley Allen Beeler, of Front Royal, said in an interview that he made an honest mistake.

Beeler pulled up to a security checkpoint at North Capitol and E streets NW 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.

> GOOD EVENING I\u2019M DREW WILDER. POLICE SAY THEY BUSTED A MAN WITH A GUN AND HUNDREDS OF ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION AT CAPITOL HILLS SECURITY CHECK POINT BUT TONIGHT THE SUSPECT SAID HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO A SECURITY JOB AND JUST GOT LOST. DARCY SPENCER WITH HIS INTERVIEW ALL NEW TONIGHT AT 11:00. >> Reporter: THE MAN WHO WAS ARRESTED TOLD NEWS 4 THAT HE MADE AN HONEST MISTAKE. WESLEY WE\u2019LLER WAS ARRESTED AFTER SHOWING UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLE WAS SEARCHED AND POLICE SAY THEY FOUND AN UNREGISTERED HANDGUN LOADED WITH A HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINE WITH MORE THAN 400 ROUNDS OF AM AM MUNITION AND TWO DOZEN SHOT GONE SHELLS. HE SAID HE WAS HAND WORKING AS A SECURITY GUARD AND GOT LT -- >> I FORGOT I HAD MY WEAPON IN MY VEHICLE. I\u2019M A VIRGINIA RESIDENT WHO HAS LICENSING HERE AND TRAINING IN THE STATE YOU HAVE VIRGINIA FOR THIS FIREARM. >> THE SECURITY WENT INTO A VIRTUAL LOCKDOWN. HE PROVIDED AN INAUGURATION PLAQUE ADMINISTRATORHE HAD USED BEFORE. WHEN THE CRED ONNET MARSHALLS DIDN\u2019T MATCH CREDENTIALS DIDN\u2019T MATCH THEY INVESTIGATED FURTHER. HE DIDN\u2019T DENY HAVING A GUN BUT QUESTIONED THE AMOUNT OF AMMUNITION THEY FOUND. >> I\u2019M NOT A BAD PERSON OR CONNECTED TO ANY HATE GROUPS I\u2019M NOT THERE TO HARM ANYBODY. >> POLICE SAY HIS TRUCK HAD SIGNS THAT SAID IF THEY COME FOR YOUR GUN GIVE THEM YOUR JEEM FIRST. >> HE\u2019S FACING SEVERAL GUN-RELATED CHARGES. >> EVERY JOB I\u2019VE CHOSE ENIS TO BE TO PROTECT PEOPLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I DON\u2019T WANT TO BE MADE AN ENEMY. I WANT TO CONTINUE MY LIFE WITH MY FAMILY LIKE THIS NEVER HAPPENED. >> WE\u2019LLER ERER ERER -- BEALER W RELEASED AND WILL LOSE HIS JOB WORKING HERE IN THE DISTRICT. >>> CAPITOL POLICE RELEASED A STATEMENT WITH NEW INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ARREST SAYING HE GAVE OFFICERS AN NON-GOVERNMENT ISSUED CREDENTIAL. HE IS CHARGED WITH PISTOL WITHOUT A LICENSE AND POSSESSION","video_id":"1845224515539_729","video_length":"163130","video_provider":"mpx","alleypack_schedule_unpublish":"","feed_remote_id":"mpx_1845224515539","feed_thumbnail_url":""}" data-livestream="false" data-title="Man Arrested at Capitol Security Checkpoint Says He Made Mistake, Got Lost" data-vidcid="1:14:2544200" data-vidurl="https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/man-arrested-at-capitol-security-checkpoint-says-he-made-mistake-got-lost/2544200/" data-islead="false" data-catnames="{"223863":"News","569":"Local","619":"U.S. & World"}" data-tagnames="{"253200":"Crime and Courts","1105":"Inauguration Day","309386":"Inauguration Security"}" data-customdata="{"ContentPartner":"None","Source":"WEBFM","SyndicationAllowed":"true","mSNVideoCategories":"MSN Video v4 Connector-most watched news","mSNVideoContentSupplierID":"NBC_Local","mSNVideoCountry":"us","subtitle":"nosubtitle","uploadedByTeam":"1","youtubeChannel":"None"}" data-autoplay="false" data-cplay="true">

Beeler said he had 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.

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 truck, police said. The gun was not registered in D.C. police said.

“I forgot that I had my weapon in my vehicle. You know, I'm a Virginia resident who has licensing and training in the state of Virginia for this firearm," Beeler said.

Police said they also found "509 9MM rounds of hollow point & ball ammunition" and 21 12-gauge shotgun shells.

Beeler questioned the amount of ammunition police said they found. 

"I’m not a bad person. I'm not connected to any hate groups. I'm not there to harm anybody," he said.

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.

"Everything I’ve done, every job that I've chosen, has been to protect people as much as possible. 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 said.

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. He's due in court in March.

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