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White House intruder facing charges

Daniel Schwen

The White House as viewed from the South Lawn. 

The Secret Service is under fire after a decorated Iraq war veteran scaled the White House’s fence and managed to get in the front door.

On Monday, in a federal court proceeding, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Mudd said officers found 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete in the vehicle of Omar Jose Gonzalez after they conducted a search on Friday night.

Virginia State Police arrested Gonzalez in July for having a detailed map of the White House and a small arsenal of 11 guns including two shotguns and four rifles in his possession. After the arrest in July, the Virginia State Police say they alerted the Secret Service of their findings.

In August, Secret Service officers on the White House’s South Lawn stopped and searched Gonzalez after they noticed he had a hatchet on his waist. After not finding any weapons in his vehicle, the Secret Service released him.

According to federal prosecutors, Gonzalez faces charges of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. If convicted, Gonzalez faces up to 10 years in prison.

In a statement Monday, President Obama said, “It is important to remember that the U.S. Secret Service remains one of the best, if not the best, protection services in the world.”

Gonzalez’s trespassing comes after numerous security lapses involving the Security Service. Consequently, the Secret Service increased foot patrols around the White House and launched a comprehensive review of their security procedures.


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