Police have identified him as retired New York City police officer Jerome Felipe, 53, of Flint, Michigan, USA Today reported. Felipe was parked on the west side of the Capitol around 5:00 a.m. when a Capitol police officer approached him, and he showed him a fake badge that said he was a member of Interpol and explained that he was a criminal inspector.
He is charged with illegal possession of cartridges and unregistered ammunition. Felipe then allowed officers to search his vehicle, where they discovered a BB gun, two ballistic vests, several high-capacity magazines, and other ammunition in the car.
No real firearms were found. Felipe is now facing charges of unlawful possession of high-capacity magazines and unregistered ammo. Investigators are still trying to determine why he was parked near the U.S. Capitol. An NYPD spokesperson told the New York Post that Felipe retired from the force in 2018 and directed any further questions to Capitol Police.
"We are fully cooperating with the US Capitol Police investigation," the spokesperson said. Capitol police officers have been concerned about the security of the U.S. Capitol since January 6, 2021, when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
Police still without detailed information
"Investigators are still working to determine the reason Felipe was parked near the U.S. Capitol," the USCP said in the statement, adding that he has been charged with unlawful possession of high capacity magazines and unregistered ammo.
In December, U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell said that officers are worried about another potential attack on the Capitol. Gonell has protected the Capitol building and suffered injuries during the riot last year.
"A lot of the officers have in mind the possibility of this being a recurring annual or every-four-year thing, which is why officers like myself are being outspoken about it, because we don't want to go through this again," Gonell said during an NPR interview.