(thepostmillennial)An out-of-state private security guard, unaware of local gun laws, was arrested at an inauguration checkpoint in Washington, DC, after Capitol Police officers searched his truck and found an unregistered firearm and more than 500 rounds of ammunition.
What prompted the police to stop the man was when he presented an “unauthorized” inaugural credential, meaning he was “not authorized to enter the restricted area.” However, establishment media outlets pounced on the opportunity to fearmonger the public spooked by right-wing militants in the wake of the Capitol Hill riot, claiming that the security guard used forged clearance.
31-year-old Wesley Allen Beeler of Front Royal, Virginia, was taken into police custody at approximately 6:30 p.m. Friday after he tried to drive his white Ford F-150 pickup truck through the security perimeter checkpoint at the intersection of North Capitol Street NW and E Street NW, court documents cite.
The criminal complaint determined that Beeler “did carry, openly, and concealed on or about his person, in a place other than his dwelling place, place of business, or on land possessed by him, a pistol, without a license issued pursuant to law.”
According to the Gerstein affidavit filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, Beeler presented an “unauthorized” inaugural credential. The stationed officer told Beeler to pull over away from the scene for inspection.
When the official attempted to verify Beeler’s credential against an authorized access list, “the credential was not authorized to enter the restricted area.”
The non-government issued pass caught the attention of the wary Capitol Police cops placed on high alert since Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6 as they brace for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
An assisting officer observed “several firearm-related decals on the rear windshield” such as “Assault Life.” The slogan sported an image of a rifle. Another was captioned: “If they come for your guns Give ‘Em your bullets first.”
The additional officer tried to gather from Beeler if the vehicle contained anything that would harm the law enforcement personnel.
When Beeler acknowledged the Glock he stored under his center armrest, the assisting officer removed him from his car and detained him in handcuffs pending further investigation.
Both officers noticed from the driver’s side of the truck what appeared to be the “butt-end” and magazine of the handgun under the center armrest in “plain-sight.”
Then an officer assigned to search crime scenes responded to process the vehicle for evidence, recovering one “Glock model 17 9mm gen4 handgun.”
One 17 round high-capacity magazine was inserted into the handgun, loaded with 16 rounds of 9mm ammunition. The handgun was cleared safely and one additional round of 9mm ammunition was loaded in the chamber. The firearm appeared to be “fully functioning” with a barrel length of less than 12 inches, designed to be fired with a single hand and capable of expelling a projectile by means of an explosion.
509 9mm rounds of hollow point and ball ammunition as well as 21 12-gauge shotgun shells in a bandolier were also located in plain view in the rear cargo area.
Beeler was then placed under arrest about an hour and fifteen minutes later for the listed charges and transported to the United States Capitol Police headquarters for processing. A check by the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and Washington Area Law Enforcement System (WALES) revealed that the firearm in question was not registered in the District of Columbia.
Beeler’s truck was towed. He was released Saturday pending trial under a stay-away order, prohibited from entering the city except to appear in court or to meet with his lawyer. His felony status conference is scheduled for June 18.
BuzzFeed News reported that Beeler was arrested on charges of carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, and possession of unregistered ammunition. He also reportedly violated the Emergency Act put in place ahead of Inauguration Day by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.
In an interview with the publication, Beeler insisted that he is actually a security contractor hired by the MVP Protective Services firm for an inauguration security gig over two weeks. Beeler maintained that the situation was caused by his lack of knowledge about the city’s gun laws. He forgot that his firearm, which does not require a license under Virginia law, would be illegal in DC.
“It was a misunderstanding thinking that I was some sort of domestic terrorist because I’m not,” he told the outlet. “I’m a guy trying to do his job and I honestly made a mistake forgetting my firearm in the truck and not turning around.”
Beeler was working in the area between the Washington Monument and the Capitol building, protecting media equipment alongside at least 20 other security guards with the same credential: a 2021 inauguration pre-event pass. He could not support his claims about the inaugural clearance and his employment with any documentation because Capitol Police confiscated his credential.
He also mentioned that he and the other security guards had showed that credential to Capitol Police and National Park Service officers for the past few days without issue. “Other people have this credential, I was the only one who forgot to take his firearm out of the truck,” he recounted. “It’s a 1099 [Tax form], you get paid at the end of it gig,” Beeler explained. “It was going to be a fast $3,000. You work 16 days and that’s it.”
Beeler’s father, Paul Beeler, verified to the Washington Post that his son had been supplying security near the Capitol for the past several evenings, commuting about 70 miles to DC from Front Royal, Va.
Numerous security assignments in the past included working as a corrections officer and securing Saudi Embassy property. A spokeswoman for Allied Universal Security Services confirmed that Beeler had worked for a smaller security company it acquired.
His father corroborated that it would not be out of the ordinary for Beeler to carry guns and ammunition with him. “Those are things he needed for his armed security work,” he stated.
When The New York Times asked his father if Beeler supported a peaceful transition of power from President Donald Trump to Biden, the father declared: “That’s the reason he’s there.”
“It was an honest mistake,” Beeler told the Washington Post in his tear-filled interview, proclaiming that he realized the firearm was in his truck halfway through his trip after he left his home in Virginia where he has a license to carry. But since he was running late, he didn’t turn around. “I pulled up to a checkpoint after getting lost in DC because I’m a country boy,” he recalled.
Beeler’s wife said she realized why people reacted with fear and concern at the report. “It’s understandable during these times. It does sound suspicious,” she conceded. The couple mustered an explanation to their children about what happened. “I don’t want my kids to think I’m a bad person,” Beeler said.
Still, other mainstream media outlets twisted coverage contradictory to the court records, first reporting that Beeler presented phony credentials.
Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig later tweeted out “The Fuller Story” explicating how Beeler was not accused of showing a fraudulent credential, specifying that he carried a “non-government” pass.
“The Fullest Story” co-authored by Leonnig detailed how Beeler possessed a proper Park Police pass but authorities had not communicated that to the Secret Service or other law enforcement.
“Man has no extremist ties, cooperated fully with cops and was released, cleared from further investigation,” Leonnig exonerated Beeler in the public light.
“Great reporting,” CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Wackrow praised Leonnig after his own blunder.
“Fake credentials indicates an elevated level of sophistication & signals that additional attempts of violence may be underway,” Wackrow wrote earlier, imploring law enforcement to “remain vigilant to the unpredictable threat environment.”
Wackrow’s colleague, CNN anchor and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, also sounded the false alarm on the purported “fake.”
Five hours later, Scuitto amended his allegation per the court filing: “CNN now reporting, the man presented an ‘unauthorized’ credential for the area he was seeking to access, not a fake credential.”
The Jewish Voice followed suit, circulating CNN’s unfounded “fake” credential claim. “We need to learn more: exactly what he was doing here. Why someone would think they can get through a checkpoint with the police, and this amount of military surrounding this secure zone now, really is mind boggling,” CNN crime and justice correspondent Shimon Prokupecz said on camera.
WJLA-TV, an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to DC, fessed up to the false alarm and deleted the offending tweet that stated that Beeler carried a “fake” inauguration credential. The ABC 7 News article included an editor’s note acknowledging the correction.
“Ok so the huge scare was started because a guy got stopped in one of those unprecedented red zones, got asked to shows his papers, he had the WRONG papers for that zone, and he was just a hapless security guard driving to an assignment,” commented conservative pundit Mike Cernovich.
“Hope we didn’t tar an innocent man a terrorist?” questioned News Cycle Media president Jon Nicosia in response to the Washington Post‘s story, which was accurate from the beginning—although the report required eight journalists in total to revise, edit, and fact check.
Beeler’s arrest comes as the military and police have locked down large portions of Washington, mobilizing thousands of National Guard troops and closing off networks of roads in anticipation of Biden’s swearing-in and in suspicion of post-siege behavior. The checkpoint Beeler was confronted at was reportedly just a seven-minute drive northeast of the Capitol.
Left-wing reporters were quick to publish the sensationalist accusation as fact, suggesting that Beeler, an out-of-state traveler, arrived in the nation’s capital to incite violence. The court records disproved the journalistic hit jobs, exposing the reporters for editorializing an unauthorized pass into an infiltration.
Hellbent on fitting the left’s anti-Trump narrative, this instance of panic-driven yellow journalism overlooked evidence to point to the cache of ammo in Beeler’s pro-gun adorned pickup truck.