Pizzagate Gunman Hit With Federal Gun Charge Carrying Up To 10-Year Sentence

AP

A North Carolina man arrested after allegedly firing an assault rifle into a Washington, D.C. restaurant while attempting to investigate an Internet conspiracy theory known as “pizzagate” will now face federal charges.

Prosecutors announced Tuesday that Edgar Maddison Welch will be charged with interstate transportation of a firearm with intent to commit a crime, according to CBS News.

The charge carriers a maximum of 10 years in prison, as well as possible financial penalties.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonali Patel told a judge that local charges against Welch will be dismissed as prosecutors have obtained a federal arrest warrant, CBS reported.

The 28-year-old Salisbury resident traveled to Comet Ping Pong on Dec. 4 bearing an AR-15 assault rifle and Colt .38 handgun after being swayed by a bizarre conspiracy theory that holds that the D.C. pizza shop is the center of a child sex ring run by Democratic Party leaders. Welch allegedly fired three shots inside the restaurant and surrendered to police on the street outside after exploring the premises and finding no captive children.

He later told the New York Times in a jailhouse interview that he regretted “how he handled the situation” and that the “intel on this wasn’t 100 percent.”

A federal court date has not yet been set for Welch.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK