Copperas Cove Man Sentenced in White House Security Breach Case
43-year-old Omar Gonzales of Copperas Cove was sentenced to federal prison Tuesday after confessing to jumping a fence at the White House last year and forcing his way into the building while armed with a knife.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer sentenced Gonzales to 17 months in prison and three years of supervised release. She also banned Collyer from entering the District of Columbia during his supervised release, except for court appearances and meetings with his attorney. Gonzales will also be required to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and a threat assessment by the Secret Service.
According to federal authorities, Gonzales climbed the north fence of the White House at 7:19 p.m. on September 19, 2014 and ran through the north doors before being tackled by a uniformed officer. While searching Gonzales, officers found a 3.5 inch knife in his pants pocket. A search of his vehicle reportedly turned up hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two hatchets, and a machete.
Gonzales served in the Iraq War from 2006 to 2008 and received several medals for marksmanship and conduct. In July of 2014, he was arrested in Virginia for eluding police and possession of an illegal firearm. Neighbors described him as a good but troubled man, and officials have not said what motivated him to charge the White House.