Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2015

Posts in "Campus Crime"

July 24, 2015

Capitol Police Stop Ex-Cop From Taking Loaded Revolver Into Library

lag flies at half staff over the Library of Congress Jefferson Building to recognize the 50th Anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Police at the Library of Congress Jefferson Building found a loaded gun in the Virginia man’s briefcase. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:33 p.m. | Capitol Police stopped a 55-year-old Virginia man who claimed to be a local cop from carrying a loaded revolver into the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building Tuesday.

Jeff Jefferson Ahn, listed as Yong Ahn in documents filed in D.C. Superior Court, entered the Jefferson Building’s carriage entrance on First Street Southeast, Tuesday morning. He placed a black briefcase into the X-ray machine around 9:45 a.m. During screening, an officer noticed what appeared to be a handgun. Full story

July 22, 2015

National Security or First Amendment? Gyrocopter Case Proceeds

UNITED STATES - MAY 21: Doug Hughes conducts a news conference outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, May 21, 2015, after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes wants to argue a “necessity defense” for his gyrocopter flight. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The airspace security concerns Congress has harped on since the April 15 gyrocopter stunt on the West Front continue to delay Douglas Hughes from a federal trial, but the Florida mailman has dreamed up his own defense strategy.

Hughes presented his “necessity defense” to reporters Wednesday, after a status hearing in the federal courthouse mere blocks from the Capitol. Full story

July 21, 2015

Capitol Police Search Powers Provoke Constitutional Concerns

The April 11 suicide on the West Front could Capitol grounds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The April 11 suicide on the West Front shook tourists on the Capitol grounds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The trio of congressional officials who have exclusive control over traffic rules on the Capitol grounds are ordering a change that would enhance Capitol Police’s authority to search backpacks, suitcases and other personal belongings carried onto the 290-acre property.

Under a section of code banning firearms, dangerous weapons and explosive devices, the language approved by the Capitol Police Board on July 15 states: “At the direction of the Chief of Police, the United States Capitol Police may search packages, bags, and other containers in the immediate possession of individuals who enter and are within the United States Capitol Grounds for the purpose of detecting prohibited items.” Full story

June 22, 2015

Will Doug Hughes Do Hard Time for Embarrassing Congress?

UNITED STATES - MAY 21: Doug Hughes conducts a news conference outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, May 21, 2015, after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes and his attorney are negotiating a plea deal with government prosecutors. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Back in Washington for a Monday morning status hearing at the federal courthouse, Florida mailman Douglas Hughes showed no fear about going to trial for his April 15 gyrocopter flight to the West Front.

“I don’t think I should be doing hard jail time for a flight that brought attention to corruption in Congress,” the 61-year-old said, speaking to reporters on a sidewalk blocks from the Capitol. Federal prosecutors offered Hughes a plea deal prior to his May 20 indictment on six charges, including two felonies and four misdemeanors, but he rejected it, seeking to avoid significant time behind bars. Full story

June 17, 2015

West Virginian Sent to Prison for Manchin Death Threats

Major will go to jail for making threats against Manchin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Major will go to jail for making threats against Manchin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A West Virginia man who threatened to murder Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., and his family is headed to prison for 18 months, after reaching a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office in the state’s Southern District.

Steven Anthony Major, 50, initially faced up 10 years behind bars after admitting to making a series of alarming phone calls to Manchin’s Charleston district and Capitol Hill offices in March 2014.

Full story

June 3, 2015

Doug Hughes: Postal Service Firing Me, but Letters Will Get to Congress (Updated)

Doug Hughes conducts a news conference outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, May 21, 2015, after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes said Wednesday his gyrocopter flight was “just the beginning.”  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:33 p.m. | Two weeks after Douglas Hughes got a hero’s welcome and displayed a jumbo, celebratory stamp outside Washington’s federal courthouse, the U.S. Postal Service informed the Florida mailman it plans to can him. But Hughes is “not going to take it lying down,” he said Wednesday.

Hughes, 61, told CQ Roll Call the USPS notified him in an overnight letter it intends to fire him from the job he’s held for 12 years for “unacceptable conduct.” On April 15, Hughes landed on the West Front of the Capitol in a gyrocopter labeled with the USPS logo, wearing a letter carrier’s uniform. Capitol Police seized the aircraft and a USPS bin holding letters to Congress addressing what Hughes says is the corrupting influence of money in politics and the need to change campaign finance laws. Full story

May 29, 2015

‘Catfish’ Subject Indicted for Metro, SOTU Threats

A 20-year-old D.C. man allegedly called Metro Transit Police on the night of State of the Union, claiming people “from France” told him they planned to ambush President Barack Obama’s motorcade and assassinate the president that night.

The caller went on to say the same people had placed bombs around the Potomac Avenue Metro station, and also planned to kill a police officer. As a result of these threats, the entire station was shut down and sweeps were conducted to check for the reported bombs or other destructive devices, the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority stated in a release announcing the arrest of Jerez Nehemiah Stone-Coleman.

Full story

May 26, 2015

Food Truck Man Owned Pressure Cooker Destroyed by Police

The Arlington, Va., man who triggered a bomb scare Sunday near the National Mall apologized and explained the pressure cooker that Capitol Police exploded was used for his food truck business, NBC4 reported on Monday.

Acting out of an abundance of caution during the annual Memorial Day concert that draws thousands to the Capitol grounds, a bomb squad smashed his back window of a “suspicious” car parked on the west side of Third Street Northwest, removed the pressure cooker and a propane tank — also food truck equipment — and then blew them up. Full story

May 13, 2015

Guns and Members, When Congress Protected Itself

Before there were Capitol Police to protect Congress (and leave their guns stashed in bathrooms), lawmakers tended to their own security — and their own weaponry.

And through much of the first half of the 19th century, whenever political tensions began to run high, guns were likely to appear on the hips of members. Full story

April 15, 2015

Gyrocopter Lands Amid Capitol Police Tumult

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After arresting the pilot of a small gyrocopter that touched down Wednesday on the West Front, many Capitol Police were left wondering, “What’s next?”

Hours before Florida man Doug Hughes landed his small aircraft, officers learned new details about a major shakeup underway among the department’s top brass. In an official memo obtained by CQ Roll Call, Chief Kim C. Dine notified the force he had chosen Deputy Chief Matt Verderosa to replace outgoing Assistant Chief Daniel Malloy, effective May 1.

Still uncertain is Dine’s own future with the department. The chief has submitted a resignation letter to the Capitol Police Board, following reports of conflict within the agency. Full story

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