West Virginia

Former Homeland Security Employee Who Took Loaded Gun to Work Going to Prison

What to Know

  • Jonathan Wienke was found with weapons by security officers at Homeland Security headquarters in June.
  • A search of his West Virginia home found multiple illegal weapons, according to court documents.
  • Wienke pleaded guilty to a charge related to a silencer found attached to a pistol in a search of his home.

A former Department of Homeland Security employee who took a loaded gun to work is going to prison.

In June 2016, security officers found Jonathan Leigh Wienke with a gun while he was on the job at agency headquarters on Nebraska Avenue in northwest D.C., according to court filings, but it's what they found later that's sending him away.

Wienke pleaded guilty to making a firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act, related to a silencer found attached to a pistol in a search of Wienke's Martinsburg, West Virginia, home. The silencer qualifies as a firearm and was made by Wienke, which he is not licensed to do. It did not have a manufacturer's identification mark or serial number, which the National Firearms Act requires.

When federal officers arrested Wienke, they also found he had a knife, pepper spray, thermal imaging equipment and radio devices inside Homeland Security headquarters, according to the request for court permission to raid his home.

They later determined he wasn't planning an attack at the agency, but they did find that illegal silencer.

Wienke pleaded guilty to a federal firearms charge but spent more than a year appealing his case, challenging the decision to raid his house.

An appeals court ruled against him, and he must now serve the 18-month prison sentence.

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