WASHINGTON - D.C. police say a tip reported to authorities in Pennsylvania led them to arrest a man staying at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on weapons and ammunition charges.
At a news conference on Wednesday, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said that they were alerted by Pennsylvania State Police at around 12:30 a.m. that 43-year-old Bryan Moles, of Edinboro, Pennsylvania, was traveling to the District, possibly to the Trump International Hotel in downtown D.C., and he was armed with weapons.
Police officers and Secret Service agents quickly responded and located Moles’ vehicle in the hotel’s garage. An explosive scan of the car turned up negative, but Newsham said they did find a Glock 23 pistol, a Bushmaster assault-style rifle and 90 rounds of ammunition.
Moles had checked into the hotel at around 1 a.m. and was located by investigators who arrested him and charged him with carrying a pistol without a license and possession of unregistered ammunition.
Newsham added that the department does not presently have enough evidence to charge Moles with making threats. He said he was not able to provide reporters information as to what the original tip was that led to the initial investigation.
Newsham thanked officers for bringing what he called a “potentially tragic situation” to an end and also thanked the tipster who originally alerted Pennsylvania authorities.
“We say it all the time -- the best way to prevent a disaster is when you see something to say something," Newsham said. "And I think this illustrates how ‘see something, say something’ actually works."
He said that the man’s motive for coming to the District with weapons is still unknown. He called the circumstances “very peculiar” and said that they “averted a potential disaster” by acting quickly on the tipster’s information and making the arrest.
The FBI said after agent interviewed Moles, it was found that he did not pose an immediate threat to Secret Service officers.
The Associated Press reports that Moles is a physician who practices emergency medicine at a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania. He also spent a long time in the U.S. Navy.
Police in Pennsylvania searched Moles' home on Wednesday.
Moles is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on Thursday.
The Secret Service issued the following statement regarding the incident:
Early this morning, Special Agents from the Secret Service Washington Field Office and officers from the Metropolitan Police Department investigated a report of a potential threat against Secret Service protectees. The Secret Service received information from a concerned citizen and Trump International Hotel Security staff. An individual was subsequently located at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Agents and officers recovered a semi-automatic assault style rifle and a handgun in the individual’s vehicle. Bryan Moles of Pennsylvania was arrested by MPD officers for illegal possession of the firearms.
At no time were any Secret Service protectees at risk. “The Secret Service greatly appreciates its strong partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and all of our law enforcement partners. This investigation is still new and ongoing,” said Special Agent in Charge Brian Ebert, Secret Service Washington Field Office.