UPDATE: Armed Man Carrying 'Fake' Inauguration Credentials Is Reportedly a Security Guard

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Posted: Jan 16, 2021 3:10 PM
UPDATE: Armed Man Carrying 'Fake' Inauguration Credentials Is Reportedly a Security Guard

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

UPDATE: CNN broke news of a Virginia man arrested at a checkpoint in downtown D.C. on Friday night carrying a loaded firearm, more than 500 rounds of ammunition, and "fake" inaugural credentials. But the Washington Post reports the man works as a private security guard and simply had non-government credentials that were deemed "unauthorized" by an officer at the checkpoint, according to the man's wife.  

ORIGINAL STORY: 

A man carrying fake inaugural credentials and a loaded handgun with more than 500 rounds of ammunition was arrested at a checkpoint in downtown Washington, D.C. on Friday. Security in the nation's capital has been dramatically increased ahead of Inauguration Day following last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

The Virginia man was arrested by Capitol Police after attempting to pass through a police checkpoint in his pickup truck, CNN reported. Around 6:30 p.m. local time, Wesley Allen Beeler drove his vehicle to the checkpoint at North Capitol and E Street NE, a source familiar with the incident told CNN. 

Beeler allegedly provided officers with an unauthorized inauguration credential and admitted to having a loaded firearm in the vehicle's center armrest. Officers retrieved a Glock handgun loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition and one round in the chamber, according to the source. Ultimately, 509 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the Glock were recovered from the vehicle. The suspect was arrested for possessing an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition among other offenses, according to the report. 

National Guard units are being deployed to the nation's capital ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. 

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence was briefed by top officials on security plans in preparation of the inauguration. Pence said he and the Trump administration will continue to work hard every day to ensure a smooth and orderly transition.

"The American people deserve a safe inauguration on Jan. 20," Pence said during the briefing. 

Officials said more than 20,000 National Guard troops and around 5,000 active military troops may be sent to D.C. to assist with security efforts. The number could increase further in light of potential threats, according to officials. 

"We're concerned about the potential for violence at multiple protests and rallies," said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Security is also being bolstered in state capitols across the nation in preparation for Inauguration Day. President Trump has said he will not be attending Joe Biden's inauguration, but Vice President Mike Pence said he will be there.