Federal prosecutors alleged Monday in federal court that a man who jumped a fence and ran into the White House’s unlocked front door Friday night posed a threat to President Obama and was keeping 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete in his car, parked blocks away.
Omar Jose Gonzalez, 42, formerly of Copperas Cove, Tex., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola of the District on one charge of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.
After a 15-minute hearing, Facciola ordered Gonzalez held until Oct. 1, pending revocation of bond by authorities in an unrelated July 19 incident in Wythe County, Va. In that case, he was arrested while allegedly carrying a sawed-off shotgun, two sniper rifles and several other firearms, as well as a map of the Washington area with the Masonic Temple in Alexandria, Va., circled and a line pointed toward the White House, a local prosecutor said.
The former sniper and Iraq war vet could get 10 years if convicted.
Family members said Gonzalez suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving three tours in Iraq before he retired due to disability.
Jerry Murphy, whose mother was married to Gonzalez for a few years, told the Associated Press that family members always knew Gonzalez owned a small arsenal, but doubted he intended to hurt the President or anyone else.
“I know he’s got heavy artillery, you know? He’s got all kinds of weapons and he was trained to use them,” Murphy said.
“I believe if he wanted to make a scene or cause problems, he very well could have. But it’s clear that he didn’t.”
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