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Law enforcement have prepared for possible armed protests during inauguration

Newly released court documents show the arsenal of weapons used by rioters at the Capitol, and those confiscated from people arrested before inauguration.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — In a now-infamous video, an Arkansas man, Peter Stager, is seen beating a Capitol Police officer with an American flag pole on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. But the arsenal of weapons law enforcement could encounter during inauguration week are capable of doing even more damage.

Images that federal prosecutors have included in charging documents against those arrested for their roles in the Capitol Riots show assault rifles, zip tie restraints, military-style battle gear (as seen in USA v. Larry Rendall Brock) and even an American flag fashioned into a spear (USA v. Albert A. Ciarpelli). 

Meanwhile, the man who placed pipe bombs outside the Republican and Democratic national committees remains at large.

Credit: DOJ
Government Exhibit 1
Credit: DOJ
Government Exhibit 2
Credit: FBI


In the lead up to Wednesday’s inauguration, armed National Guard units are on alert and on the lookout for more weapons across the District.  Since Friday, two different Virginia men have been arrested near the U.S. Capitol accused of being heavily armed.

D.C. Police said Guy Berry of Gordonsville was carrying a Glock .22, two high capacity magazines and hollow tip bullets.

RELATED: Woman impersonating cabinet member, man with unlawful handgun arrested near Capitol

U.S. Capitol Police said Wesley Beeler of Front Royal tried to drive through a checkpoint with a bogus inauguration credential, loaded handgun and more than 500 rounds of hollow-point ammunition. 

Beeler told WUSA9, he simply made a mistake. 

“I'm not a bad person and it was just an accident," Beeler said. 

RELATED: 'I'm not a terrorist' | Virginia man arrested with gun, 500 rounds of ammo at US Capitol checkpoint, police report says

Accident or not, others arrested in the riots at the U.S. Capitol seemed intent on returning to D.C. for the inauguration, armed for battle.

In an affidavit filed against a New York man over the weekend, federal prosecutors claim Dominic Pezzola was part of a group that intended to return for the Inauguration and quote “...kill every single “m-fer” they can."

A witness told prosecutors that Pezzola, who is now in custody, had access to firearms.

RELATED: White supremacist who wanted to be 'lone wolf killer' was on GPS monitoring at Capitol during riot, FBI says

Credit: DOJ

Troy Smocks of Texas faces federal charges for posting on social media that he was also among those who planned to return to D.C. this week.  

“Carrying our weapons…We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match," one post said.

Couy Griffin, a county commissioner from New Mexico who also allegedly stormed the Capitol, brazenly told fellow commissioners he planned to return for the inauguration, packing.

"I’ve got a .357 Henry big boy rifle lever action that I’ve got in the trunk of the car and I’ve got a .357 single action revolver Colt Reuger that I’ll have under the seat on the right side," investigators allege Griffin said. "And I will embrace my Second Amendment and keep my right to bear arms.”

Griffin didn’t get that chance. He was arrested in D.C. on Sunday.

RELATED: New Mexico county commissioner detained by police for his role in Capitol riot, FBI says

Credit: DOJ

Anyone convicted on federal charges for their role in the Capitol riots or any unrest this week could lose their legal right to carry guns in any state. Once someone becomes a felon, they are banned for life from legally possessing any kind of firearm for any reason, even hunting.

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