Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 7, 2015

Posts in "DC Crime"

June 17, 2015

As White House Fence Jumper Heads to Prison, Security Upgrades Continue

Gainer suggests a fence around the Capitol, similar to the barricades at the White House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More security upgrades are underway outside the White House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez is headed to prison for the White House intrusion that raised serious questions about the Secret Service’s ability to secure the executive mansion.

A judge sentenced the 43-year-old to serve 17 months behind bars. Meanwhile, security changes implemented as a result of the Sept. 19 breach are still underway. 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 28, 2015

Former Senate Commerce Staffer Indicted for Defrauding Vulnerable Women

Known as a fixture on Capitol Hill until his January 2010 retirement, longtime Senate staffer Robert Lee Foster is now making headlines for his alleged involvement in a scheme to defraud vulnerable women for approximately $500,000.

A Virginia grand jury on Thursday indicted the 65-year-old man, who worked as a staffer on the Senate Commerce Committee for more than three decades, on nine counts of wire fraud, allegedly connected to his Senate Federal Credit Union account. Full story

May 21, 2015

Doug Hughes: Congress Must Honor Vows to ‘We the People’

Hughes soaks in the support at the courthouse. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes soaks in the support at the courthouse. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Florida mailman Douglas Hughes got a hero’s welcome when he returned to Washington Thursday to face six charges related to his April 15 landing on the West Front of the Capitol.

In a lofty speech to supporters and about two dozen reporters, Hughes called on lawmakers to “honor the vows of fidelity implicit in the Constitution.” The 61-year-old advocate for campaign finance reform clarified, that’s “fidelity to ‘We the People.'” Full story

April 29, 2015

Senate Aide Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Drug Charges

In a federal courtroom blocks from the Capitol, a Senate aide who spent the past three decades working for Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to two serious drug charges related to methamphetamine and date rape drugs.

Fred W. Pagan, 49, said little more than “yes, ma’am” during the brief arraignment, and was escorted out of the courtroom by a public defender, who told reporters not to follow along. Pagan indicated he has hired an attorney, and asked not to be contacted by law enforcement without the presence of counsel. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 3:36 p.m.
DC Crime, Staffers

April 24, 2015

Cochran Staffer Confesses to Sex-for-Drugs Scheme, Feds Say

Cochran is Mississippi's senior senator. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cochran is Mississippi’s senior senator. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Agents from Homeland Security Investigations raided the Northwest Washington home of a Senate staffer at approximately 6 a.m. Thursday morning, in a drug bust prompted by Customs and Border Protection officers in Ohio, who intercepted a 1.1-kilogram package of gamma-Butyrolactone, or GBL, bound for D.C.

Fred W. Pagan, who has worked for Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., since October 2000, allegedly confessed to ordering the GBL, a Schedule 1 controlled drug, from a business in China, and admitted he knew it was illegal. According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court, Pagan also admitted he had received three prior shipments of the drug. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 4:54 p.m.
DC Crime, Staffers

April 17, 2015

White House Fence Jumper Who Kicked K-9 Pleads Guilty

The Maryland man who scaled the White House fence in October and was caught on camera kicking one of the Secret Service’s big Belgian Malinois dogs pled guilty Friday to a federal charge stemming from the intrusion.

Dominic Adesanya, 23, formerly of Bel Air, Md., has been in custody since his Oct. 22 arrest on the White House grounds, a high-profile security scare that took place four weeks after another man made it into the executive mansion, allegedly armed with a knife. Full story

March 18, 2015

No Criminal Charges for Drone Lost on White House Grounds

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced Wednesday there will be no criminal charges against the intelligence agency employee who set off a national security furor after crashing a drone on the grounds of the White House early Jan. 26.

The incident caused some lawmakers to question the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone policy in the District of Columbia.

Though there will be no criminal charges, the case is still under FAA review for possible administrative action.

According to a Justice Department release, investigators determined the man was flying the quadcopter drone outside his apartment window at about 3 a.m. when he lost control of the device as it flew toward the nearby White House.

According to the report, the man went to sleep not knowing where the drone had gone. After he awoke to news reports of the crash on the White House grounds, he self-reported the incident to the Secret Service.

A forensic analysis of the drone determined that it was not operating under the direction of its controller when it crashed at the White House.

Related:

White House Drone Raises Questions About D.C., Capitol Policy

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 23, 2014

Does Steve Stockman Case Argue Merits of Subpoena Power for Ethics Office?

Stockman and 11 others refused to cooperate in ethics probe. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Stockman and 11 others refused to cooperate in the ethics probe. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For evidence of how the Office of Congressional Ethics could use subpoena power, look at its investigation of Rep. Steve Stockman.

The Texas Republican drew the office’s attention in October 2013 for campaign contributions made to his group, Friends of Congressman Steve Stockman. Investigators got a tip that Stockman conspired to accept donations from two employees of his congressional office. If true, the illegal contribution would be the latest in a series of controversies. Full story

December 1, 2014

D.C. Concealed Carry Fight Could Provoke Congress, Contempt of Court

Rand Paul has fired multiple shots at D.C.'s gun laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul has fired multiple shots at D.C.’s gun laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On Tuesday, the D.C. Council will consider a more permanent version of the emergency measure that revived the city’s long-standing concealed carry law. That bill turned D.C. into a “may-issue jurisdiction,” where authorities have discretion over who may carry and where they are allowed.

At the same time, a pro-gun lawyer is on a mission to achieve what Second Amendment proponents in Congress have tried to do since the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller ruling: Wipe out the city’s restrictions on carrying handguns.

Attorney Alan Gura argues the city’s plan for issuing concealed carry permits does not meet the requirements set forth by Judge Frederick Scullin in the July 26 ruling that declared the D.C.’s ban on carrying handguns unconstitutional. Gura has asked the court to hold the city in contempt. Full story

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