Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Firearms Offense Following Discovery of Weapons in Car in Downtown Washington
Defendant Brought Rifle and Pistol to Trump International Hotel
WASHINGTON – Bryan D. Moles, 44, of Edinboro, Pa., pled guilty today to a firearms offense stemming from the discovery of a semi-automatic pistol and an AR-15-style rifle in the car he parked last year at the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Brian J. Ebert, Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office, U.S. Secret Service, ), Thomas L. Chittum III, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Moles pled guilty in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia to carrying a pistol without a license, a District of Columbia offense. As part of the plea, the government has agreed to dismiss a federal firearms charge that was included in an indictment returned in June 2017. The charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $12,500, Based on the District of Columbia’s voluntary sentencing guidelines, Moles faces a possible range of six to 24 months in prison. The Honorable Richard J. Leon scheduled sentencing for Sept. 7, 2018.
The plea agreement also calls for Moles to forfeit various firearms recovered from the car as well as from his home in Pennsylvania.
According to a factual proffer submitted for the plea, Moles traveled by car from Pennsylvania to the District of Columbia, leaving on May 30, 2017 and arriving on May 31. Prior to heading off, he placed a Glock 23 .40-caiber pistol and a Bushmaster Carbon-15 .223-5.56mm caliber rifle in the car. The pistol was in an unlocked glove compartment and the rifle was in an unlocked rifle case in the rear hatchback. At the time of his trip, Moles had been a regular user of marijuana for at least the prior month.
Moles parked the car at the Trump International Hotel early in the morning of May 31. He reported to hotel staff that he had firearms in the car and checked in as a hotel guest. Law enforcement agents later knocked on the door to his hotel room. Moles let them inside, He told the agents that he had brought the two firearms to the District of Columbia, and said that he self-medicated with marijuana. Agents found marijuana and a vaporizer smoking device in the bathroom of the hotel room.
Moles was released from custody on June 2, 2017, but his pretrial release was revoked on June 15, 2017, after the judge determined he had violated his release conditions. He has been in custody ever since.
Under District of Columbia law, Moles would have been ineligible to obtain a license to carry a firearm due to his use of marijuana.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Metropolitan Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Friedman.