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Press Release

Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge in Confrontation with Law Enforcement Near the White House

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Defendant Was Shot After He Refused Repeated Commands to Drop Handgun

Jesse A. Olivieri, 31, of Ashland, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to a federal charge stemming from a confrontation with law enforcement in which he brandished a gun near the White House, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia and Chief Robert D. MacLean of the U.S. Park Police.

Olivieri pleaded guilty before the U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth for the District of Columbia to resisting or impeding certain officers or employees with a dangerous weapon.  The charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties.  Under federal sentencing guidelines, he faces a likely range of eight to 14 months in prison and a potential fine of up to $40,000.  No sentencing date was set.

According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, on May 20, Olivieri was seen in a car that was parked on the north side of the 1600 block of Constitution Avenue NW.  Moments later, witnesses heard a gunshot and observed Olivieri holding a silver handgun and standing outside his vehicle.  He was then seen walking quickly north through the grass toward the south lawn of the White House.

A short time later, U.S. Secret Service Uniform Division Officers observed Olivieri pass through the security gate near the southwest grounds of the White House, in the 1600 block of E Street NW.  He was proceeding quickly towards the security gate near E Street and South Place NW, still openly holding a silver handgun in his right hand, pointed toward the ground.  Secret Service officers repeatedly ordered him to stop, but he ignored their commands and continued to walk toward the White House.  At that point, a Secret Service agent confronted him, again ordering him to halt and drop the weapon.  When Olivieri refused, the agent shot him once.

A silver .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered from Olivieri.  It contained one round of ammunition in the chamber and eight rounds in the magazine.  In addition, Olivieri’s car was located, and an empty holster, 15 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition and a canister of pepper spray were found by law enforcement inside the vehicle.  A spent .22-caliber shell casing was found nearby, in the westbound travel lanes of Constitution Avenue NW.

Today’s plea hearing took place at a hospital in Washington, D.C., where Olivieri continues to receive treatment related to the injuries that he sustained in the incident.

In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Chief MacLean commended the work of those who handled the case from the U.S. Park Police.  They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided during the investigation by the Secret Service, the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department.  Finally, they acknowledged the work of those who handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb Jr., who investigated and prosecuted the matter.

Updated September 6, 2016