Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, from Front Royal, Virginia, was arrested on Friday at a U.S. Capitol checkpoint for carrying 500 Ammunition rounds and an invalid Biden inauguration ID. He has since been released and claims that his ID was real, and he forgot to remove the guns and ammo from his vehicle because he was late for work.
Despite being heavily armed amid a heightened sense of fear at the U.S. Capitol, Beeler says it was all a misunderstanding, and he isn’t a criminal.
According to the Daily Mail, he approached a North Capitol and E Street NE checkpoint around 6:30 pm Friday and showed authorities an invalid inauguration credential.
Officers then found a loaded firearm and more than 500 rounds of ammunition inside his truck. He was taken into custody and charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Following his release, Beeler maintained his innocence, calling the incident an “honest mistake” and says he was running late to his job as a security guard and had gotten lost due to the roadblocks.
He also says that he was driving up from Virginia—where he is licensed to carry—and forgot to remove the gun before going to work.
“I pulled up to a checkpoint after getting lost in DC because I’m a country boy,’ he told the Washington Post in a ‘tear-filled’ interview. ‘I showed them the inauguration badge that was given to me.’
‘It was just me forgetting to take it out of my truck before I left for work. I don’t know what the D.C. laws are. It still comes back on me, but I’m not a criminal.’
In a statement on Saturday, police said that Beeler had handed over a “non-government issued” credential and wasn’t authorized to go inside the area.
However, his brother Clint Beeler backed his story, saying he believes the rest was also a misunderstanding.
Beeler said he was hired by security firm MVP Protective Services to guard “media equipment” and had already accessed the area before with his badge.
Beeler wants to clear his name so people won’t associate him with some sinister terror plot.
‘I was one block away asking the cop for directions and it blew up into this whole domestic terrorist thing,’ Beeler told Fox 5 DC late Saturday. ‘Just ’cause things are happening out there doesn’t mean that’s what I’m trying to do.’
‘I forgot my firearm was in my truck, I was trying to make it to work. You can literally go to the National Mall and ask any of the security that are wearing all black that says, “MVP Protective Services.” I’ll put the name out there because they’re not helping me right now,’ he added.
There is an unprecedented amount of protection set up around the Capitol following last week’s siege that left five dead.
According to the police report, officers were checking the authorized list when one of them saw Beeler’s decal on the back of his truck that read “Assault Life.”
There was also another that read, “If they come for your funs, give ‘em your bullets first.”
When asked if he was armed, Beeler said he had a Glock in his armrest. That’s when authorities conducted a search that turned over the loaded handgun, rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells, and a magazine for a gun.
Beeler admitted to police he had the gun but didn’t for the ammunition.
‘All I was trying to do was show [the officer] what I had and ask how I get around the blockade because I got lost,’ he said.
‘Everything’s blocked off and I’m trying to make money for my family. That’s all I’m trying to do, I’m not trying to hurt anybody.’
Wesley Allen Beeler was released on personal recognizance. Judge issued a “stay away” order from D.C. Charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possessing an unregistered firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and possession of large-capacity ammunition feeding device, according to police.