Guilty Plea in Jeep Crash, White House Fence-Jumping

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AFP/Getty Images

    An Ohio man pleaded guilty Friday to rigging his Jeep so it would crash near the White House.

    In June, 32-year-old Joseph Reel wedged a wooden block onto the gas pedal and sent his Jeep down Pennsylvania Avenue at 40 mph in the middle of the night to create a distraction so he could spray paint a message on the White House.

    Secret Service agents found 200 rounds of ammunition, eight knives and two machetes in the Jeep.

    Reel is accused of jumping the White House fence after the crash and later telling the Secret Service he wanted to spray-paint a “Don’t tread on me” snake somewhere on the grounds as a “symbolic gesture.”

    He dropped a spray-paint container as the Secret Service chased him. He was not carrying a weapon, the Secret Service said.

    Reel told arresting officers he had been doing surveillance of the White House complex the previous day, "looking for a way in," according to court documents.

    Reel will face almost 3 years in prison when he's sentenced in January.