An Iowa man was arrested at a checkpoint outside the White House on Wednesday, after authorities found a rifle and more than 40 rounds of ammunition in the trunk of his car. R.J. “Renae” Kapheim, 41, told a security officer that he drove 850 miles across the country from his hometown of Davenport, Iowa, after someone told him to go to the White House, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told the Washington Post. The incident has occurred a few weeks after the U.S. Secret Service failed to stop an armed fenc jumper from entering the presidential mansion.
The officer checked Kapheim’s 2013 VW Passat and found a .30-30 rifle and more than 40 rounds of ammunition. Kapheim was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and could face additional charges, Donovan told the Washington Post.
Hours before Kapheim’s arrest, interim Secret Service Director Joe Clancy testified before lawmakers about recent security breaches at the White House, including an “inexcusable” incident in September in which a man with a knife jumped a fence and got through the front door of the executive mansion. “I openly acknowledge that a failure of this magnitude, especially in light of other recent incidents, requires immediate action and longer term reform,” Clancy said during his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, according to CNN. The incident generated severe criticism of the Secret Service agency and resulted in the resignation of its director, Julia Pierson.
That incident also led to an in-depth report by the Department of Homeland Security, published last week, citing disorganization, failures in communication and lack of training and equipment at the agency, which is responsible for protecting the president.