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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Omar Gonzalez Sentenced to 17 Months in Prison for Armed Intrusion on White House Grounds



Omar Gonzalez, 43, of Copperas Cove, Texas, was sentenced today to 17 months in prison on charges stemming from an incident in which he climbed a fence and ran toward and into the White House while armed with a folding knife.

The sentencing was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. for the District of Columbia and Acting Special Agent in Charge James M. Murray of the Washington Field Office for the U.S. Secret Service.

Gonzalez pleaded guilty on March 13, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to two federal offenses: one count of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds, while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon and one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees.  He was sentenced by the Honorable Rosemary M. Collyer.  Upon completion of his prison term, Gonzalez will be placed on three years of supervised release.

Judge Collyer also prohibited Gonzalez from entering the District of Columbia for the duration of his supervision, except for court appearances and meetings with his attorney.  He also will be required to participate in a psychiatric evaluation and cooperate fully with the Secret Service in any assessments they deem necessary to make of Gonzalez’s risk.

“Mr. Gonzalez is now paying the price for his foolish decision to jump the fence and run inside the White House,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen.  “When he finishes his prison term, he will be barred from entering the District of Columbia and must receive psychiatric treatment.  The prison sentence imposed by the court should deter others from taking actions that needlessly put the First Family and White House employees at risk.”      

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.  While he was climbing over the fence, officers with the U.S. Secret Service’s Uniformed Division ran towards him and repeatedly yelled at him to stop and get down.  Gonzalez, however, ignored the commands and landed on the north grounds of the White House.

Moments later, after ignoring additional, repeated commands from uniformed officers to stop, Gonzalez went through the north doors of the White House, knocking a uniformed officer backwards.  Another uniformed officer then tackled him inside the White House.

Gonzalez was searched and a folding knife, with a serrated blade that was over three and one-half inches long, was discovered in his right front pants pocket.  After his arrest, he gave oral consent to search his vehicle, located on Constitution Avenue NW.  The vehicle contained hundreds of rounds of ammunition, in boxes and in magazines, hatchets and a machete.

Gonzalez has been in custody since his arrest on Sept. 19, 2014.

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

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