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Press Release

Omar Gonzalez Indicted On Federal And Local Charges For Entering White House Grounds With A WeaponCharges Follow Sept. 19, 2014 Incident

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

     WASHINGTON – Omar Gonzalez, 42, formerly of Copperas Cove, Texas, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges stemming from an incident on Sept. 19, 2014, in which he climbed a fence and ran toward and into the White House while armed with a folding knife.

     The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Kathy A. Michalko, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office, U.S. Secret Service.

     The grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a three-count indictment against Gonzalez, who has been in custody since his arrest on Sept. 19, 2014. Following his arrest, Gonzalez was charged with unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds, while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. The grand jury today indicted him for that federal offense, as well as two additional charges alleging violations of District of Columbia law: carrying a dangerous weapon outside a home or place of business, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

     The federal charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison. The D.C. charge of carrying a dangerous weapon carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison, and the charge of unlawful possession of ammunition carries a potential maximum of a year of incarceration.

     According to the government’s evidence, on Sept. 19, 2014, at about 7:19 p.m., Gonzalez climbed over the north fence of the White House. An officer with the U.S. Secret Service ran toward him and yelled at him to stop. Gonzalez, however, ran toward the White House. Moments later, he went through the north doors and entered the building. He was apprehended inside the White House. Gonzalez was searched and a black folding knife was discovered in his right front pants pocket. The knife had a serrated blade that was three and one-half inches long.

     After Gonzalez’s arrest, he gave oral consent to search his vehicle, which was located on Constitution Avenue NW.  The vehicle contained hundreds of rounds of ammunition, both in boxes and in magazines, two hatchets, and a machete. 

     Gonzalez is scheduled to appear on Oct. 1, 2014, before Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

     An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

     This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Mudd and Thomas A. Gillice, of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.


Updated February 19, 2015