US Capitol Police have arrested a man who allegedly sought to pass a police checkpoint in Washington DC while carrying a fraudulent pass to president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, along with a loaded handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition.
An incident report from the Metropolitan Police Department obtained by CNN claims that Wesley Allen Beeler had a Glock semi-automatic pistol in his truck’s console as he passed through a police checkpoint on Friday. He also reportedly carried an unauthorised pass to the inauguration ceremony.
Police also discovered more than 500 rounds of ammunition, including a magazine for the handgun and shotgun shells.
He was arrested for possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition.
National Guard services members have joined increased law enforcement presence in the nation’s capital, with as many as 25,000 troops expected on the ground for the ceremony on 20 January, following a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol and threats of more far-right violence to follow.
Barricades have been erected around the Capitol, and the National Mall is closed to the public over the two-mile stretch from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol steps.
Bridges entering DC will be blocked over a three-day period from 6 am on 19 January to 6 am on 21 January, effectively sealing off the city in the day before and after the president-elect’s swearing-in ceremony.
An intelligence bulletin shared among federal law enforcement agencies on 13 January warned that the riots will fuel far-right violence leading up to the inauguration.
Federal law enforcement warned that “domestic violence extremists” may “exploit the aftermath of the Capitol breach by conducting attacks to destabilize and force a climactic conflict in the United States,” the memo said.
The attacks in Washington DC and the deaths of rioters, including a woman who was fatally shot by Capitol Police, will “very likely serve as a significant driver of violence” and galvanise groups and inspire “more sporadic, lone-actor or small-cell violence” against others, according to the bulletin, released by the FBI, Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center.