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Homeland Security employee caught with gun, knife arrested

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Authorities arrested a Department of Homeland Security employee Friday for charges related to walking into his agency's Washington headquarters with a gun, a knife, an infrared camera, pepper spray and handcuffs last month.

How were weapons smuggled into Homeland Secur... 01:29

Federal government analyst Jonathan Leigh Wienke is charged with illegally building a silencer on an unregistered pistol and having materials to build more silencers, according to the seven-count grand jury indictment unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg. The charges carry up to a 10-year prison term.

Wienke, a 45-year-old federal employee with top-secret clearance, was arrested Friday in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Ashley Lough, a spokeswoman with the U.S. attorney's office in northern West Virginia, said the arrest was related to a search warrant last month on Wienke's house in Martinsburg, West Virginia, about a 75-mile commute to the Washington office.

Previous court documents allege Wienke carried the assortment of weapons in his backpack into the Homeland Security building the morning of June 9. The building has a security level on par with the White House and the Pentagon, according to an affidavit by a Homeland Security special agent.

Investigators believed they had probable cause to think Wienke "was conspiring with another to commit workplace violence, and more particularly may have been conspiring or planning to commit violence against senior DHS officials in the building," according to court filings by the federal government last month.

But this month, the department's chief security officer, Richard McComb, told a House homeland security subcommittee that there is "no indication" Wienke was "planning or conspiring to commit workplace violence."

Initially, Wienke was charged with carrying a pistol without a license last month. He was placed on administrative leave from his job after his initial arrest, and a judge has barred him from entering the Homeland Security headquarters while the investigation continues.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Department of Homeland Security continue to investigate the case, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney in southern West Virginia.

Wienke is due for a court appearance before a U.S. Magistrate judge in Martinsburg on July 27.

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