The charge stems from an incident in October when a number of guns were found buried in the ground near Patrick Henry Drive and I-66. Investigators from the FBI and the Arlington County Police Department used forensic evidence to link the guns to 61-year-old Cherrydale resident and convicted felon Rodney M. Gunsauley.
In all, prosecutors say they recovered at least 35 tubes containing 14 guns and more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office issued the following press release tonight.
Rodney Melvin Gunsauley, 61, a resident of Arlington, Va., was sentenced today to 40 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $6,000 fine for possessing firearms after being convicted of a felony.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.
According to the statement of facts and court records, on Oct. 12, 2011, construction workers discovered two weapons caches located at the 1000 block of Patrick Henry Drive, Arlington, Virginia. FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) agents and Arlington County Police and Fire responded to the location and recovered one short barrel AR-15, thirteen AR-15 magazines, 385 armor piercing rounds, two handguns – a Para-Ordinance .45 and Delta Elite Semi-Automatic 10 mm – additional clips for the .45, a lock pick set and coded letter with references to additional locations. Forensic evidence led law enforcement to Gunsauley, whose house was searched pursuant to a federal search warrant on October 20, 2011. Inside his apartment, law enforcement found 12 M16 firing pins, materials to make weapons caches, a shovel and a lock pick set. Gunsauley was taken into custody the same day.
Gunsauley pled guilty on Dec. 8, 2011, to felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. With Gunsauley’s cooperation, law enforcement reported in court today that 33 additional weapons tubes had been recovered in Arlington Va., containing six additional AR15 rifles, five additional handguns to include a 9mm, a 40 caliber and another 45 caliber and 20,000 additional rounds of ammunition.
This case was investigated by FBI Washington Field Office and the Arlington County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Ronald L. Walutes Jr. prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States, with assistance from the Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
The contract for the final phase of the ongoing effort was awarded to Trafford Corporation. The first phase of the project, which includes removing overhead electrical lines from I-66 to N. Monroe St, is in its final stages.
When the project is finished late next year, Lee Highway will no longer have power lines dangling overhead from I-66 to N. Quincy St. This is one of the first utility undergrounding projects the County has undertaken.
This part of the neighborhood revitalization project has been in the works for years and has suffered from numerous delays. Some of the challenges have included avoiding interference with existing utilities under the roadway, working around private properties, and dealing with unforeseen circumstances such as utility crews being sent to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
Following the completion of the undergrounding, the County plans to go forward with the remainder of the Cherrydale Lee Highway Revitalization Project. That involves restarting the planning and construction on other aesthetic and pedestrian safety improvements. Right now, that’s anticipated to be finished sometime in 2014.
(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force agents are conducting a terrorism investigation at a house in Douglas Park.
The FBI, NCIS and Arlington County Police are on the scene on the 1600 block of S. Randolph Street. Earlier, agents could be seen talking to two men outside the home, where the FBI says it was executing a search warrant.
The FBI now seems to be focusing their search on a shed behind the house. Agents wearing latex gloves and face masks have removed dozens of shoe boxes from the shed and piled them in the backyard. Agents have also put up a blue tarp to help shield their investigation from the dozen or so TV, radio and newspaper reporters camped at the corner of S. Randolph Street and 16th Street.
ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck confirms this is an “offshoot” related to today’s arrest of a Moroccan man by the FBI. The man, identified as 29-year-old Amine El Khalifi, planned on conducting a suicide attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to federal prosecutors. El Khalifi was living in Alexandria but was in the country illegally, prosecutors say.
(See the full U.S. Department of Justice press release, after the jump.)
The home raided by federal agents today has been owned by the same man and woman since 1997, according to Arlington County property records.
A longtime family friend who only identified himself as “Fred” was visiting and said he doesn’t know why the FBI would be interested in the couple. He said they have grown children as well as grandchildren, and live a quiet life at home.
“I don’t understand,” he said. “They’re good people.”
Though it doesn’t specify the address of the house in question, a federal court affidavit mentions a “residence in Arlington, Va.” as a place where El Khalifi allegedly discussed terrorism activity. From the Justice Department press release:
According to the criminal complaint affidavit, in January 2011, a confidential human source reported to the FBI that El Khalifi met with other individuals at a residence in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 11, 2011. During this meeting, one individual produced what appeared to be an AK-47, two revolvers and ammunition. El Khalifi allegedly expressed agreement with a statement by this individual that the “war on terrorism” was a “war on Muslims” and said that the group needed to be ready for war.
Forecasters have been predicting some sort of precipitation on Sunday, but it’s unclear whether it will be mainly snow or rain. As is often the case in our area, weather models are changing by the hour. Don’t get your hopes up for a repeat of the Presidents Day Blizzard of 2003 — but do plan on the chance of the season’s most significant snowfall.
In advance of the possible storm, the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services has issued a Phase 1 Alert, meaning crews will pre-treat roads with salt or brine as necessary. They’re also preparing snow removal equipment and personnel for the weekend.
Dominion Virginia Power also reports making preparations. Trucks are being stocked and fueled, and crews are ready to respond to outages. Customers can call 1-866-DOM-HELP to report outages and downed lines.
Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).
Continuing our look at the many beers of Belgium, this week’s column features one of the most common and varied styles of Belgian beer—the Golden or Blonde Ale. For the sake of this column we’re going to put Golden and Blonde Ales under the same umbrella. Outside of color, the common thread through many Golden Ales is the use of Pilsner malt and bottle conditioning, either through the beer being unfiltered (and left to condition in the bottle) or by adding yeast to a filtered beer causing an extra fermentation. Golden Ales tend to strike a fine balance between their bright, slightly citrusy notes and their alcohol level (which can range anywhere from 6-9% ABV and up).
Duvel is probably the best-known Belgian Golden Ale in the U.S. today. With a spicy yeast character, full-bodied malts and robust hops Duvel has not only become a favorite of Belgian beer drinkers, it’s established the style in parts of the country previously unaware of Belgian beer. Duvel can be found on tap at many bars and restaurants as well as your local grocer or wine shop.
For beer fans in the Northern Virginia area, Delirium Tremens is a legendary Golden Ale. Brought into the country by local company Wetten Imports, Delirium has become a go-to beer for those seeking a raucous good time all over the States. At 10% ABV with rich hops and an intense yeasty palate, the pink elephant on Delirium’s label is an icon of Belgian Ale. For many (myself included), Delirium Tremens is a great introduction not only to the power of Belgian beer, but just how much fun Belgian beers are too.
Those seeking a more everyday beer can find the classic Leffe Blonde in many locations these days. As a relatively inexpensive (though still not cheap) six-pack, Leffe provides a more laid-back experience for drinkers not looking for the more high-octane Golden Ales. Grimbergen Blonde is a slightly fuller-bodied beer that falls under the same category (when available though, it does tend to be a bit pricier) with a slightly spicier flavor than Leffe.
The incident happened at 11:00 a.m., near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and S. Uhle Street in the Penrose neighborhood.
“There were no injuries reported and ACPD remain on scene conducting an investigation,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Although the area is not a main thoroughfare, police are re-routing traffic as necessary.
The whole family can enjoy the free event at the Langston-Brown Community Center (2121 N. Culpeper St) from 12:00-5:00 p.m. Visitors can taste soul food and browse vendor displays while being entertained by various types of music and dancing teams, in addition to a comedian. Children’s activities such as arts and crafts, face painting and balloon art will keep little ones occupied.
On the more serious side, the “Hall of History” will display photos and artifacts from Arlington’s historically black neighborhoods, along with African Americans in the Civil War. There will be a WalkAbout of the Hall’s Hill/Highview area. Visitors can also take advantage of health services, from free screenings to flu shots.
Attendees can buy raffle tickets to win a vacation getaway. The winner receives two round-trip tickets to one of 40 destinations in Africa.
Parking at the event will be limited, so free shuttles will run from Glebe Elementary School (1770 N. Glebe Rd) and the Carver (1415 S. Queen St) and Charles Drew (3500 23rd St S.) Community Centers.
Arlington’s main event is the Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade. The free event starts at 8:00 p.m. More than 40 local groups will march in the event, some with floats and the quintessential beads. The parade will run along Wilson Blvd from N. Barton St to N. Irving St. The following street closures will be in effect:
- Wilson Blvd from N. Veitch St to N. Barton St will be closed from 6:45-9:30 p.m.
- Adams St and Wayne St, between Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd, will be closed from 6:45-9:30 p.m.
- Wilson Blvd from Barton St to Irving St will be closed from 7:45-9:30 p.m.
In addition, street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. Parade-goers are encouraged to use Metro.
If standing outside for a parade isn’t your style, perhaps some of these other options will pique your interest:
- Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Rd) promises a celebration of Bourbon Street proportions. The Lundi Gras Party and Dinner kicks things off on Monday at 6:00 p.m. An all-inclusive four course dinner is offered, along with jazz music. On Tuesday, the party starts at 5:00 p.m. with “Parade Route Fare” like gumbo, muff-a-lottas, crawfish etouffee and oysters. Various ticket options are available for food, alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. Contact the restaurant for ticket options at 703-243-2410 or online.
- Union Jack’s (671 N. Glebe Rd.) is turning the obligatory Mardi Gras bead throwing into a contest to see who can collect the most. Prizes and specials are available throughout the night, and the evening’s grand prize will be a New Orleans trip.
- You don’t have to have a night out to enjoy some king cake. Pick up one of the fruity, colorful concoctions from Heidelberg Bakery (2150 N. Culpeper St) and enjoy hunting for the plastic baby in the comfort of your home. The bakery is taking advance orders.
- Maybe you can’t wait until Tuesday to begin celebrating. In that case, Lucy’s ARL (2620 S. Shirlington Rd) may be the answer, with its N’awlins-style Mardi Gras on Saturday. Starting at 8:00 p.m., jambalaya, oyster po’ boys and a crawfish boil will be accompanied by festive drinks and music. Free pool will be offered all night, and bead contests take place every half an hour. Tickets can be purchased online.
- Piola (1550 Wilson Blvd) is also starting the festivities early, in addition to focusing on Rio instead of New Orleans. Its 5th Annual Carnival Party takes place on Saturday starting at 9:00 p.m. Brazil’s national cocktails, caipirinhas and caipiroskas, will be served while a live band gets people moving to samba music. Feathers, costumes and masks are encouraged. Contact the restaurant for reservations.
- A number of churches mark Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, with traditional pancake suppers. Because in ancient times people used up all the sugar, fat, flour and eggs in their homes to observe fasting during Lent, many made pancakes. One of the churches having a pancake feast is St. John’s Episcopal Church (415 S. Lexington St). Everyone is welcome from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under 6. A food donation of cereal is also requested. St. George’s Church (915 N. Oakland St) will also hold a pancake supper. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 2-12 or $15 for a family.
Management Change at Hotel Palomar — After being sold for some $45 million, Rosslyn’s upscale Hotel Palomar (1121 19th Street N.) will be changing management companies. Effective Feb. 22, Kimpton Hotels will no longer manage the property. Instead, it will be managed in partnership with Starwood Hotels and Le Meridien. [Hotel Palomar]
Legal Advertising Bill Fails in Richmond – A bill that would have lifted the requirement that Virginia localities place legal notices in newspapers has failed in the General Assembly. The bill could have saved localities thousands of dollars per year. Most of Arlington County’s legal advertising is placed in the Washington Times. [Sun Gazette]
Candidates Answer Affordable Housing Questions — The three candidates for Arlington County Board have each answered three questions about affordable housing in the county. Their answers have been published verbatim, in PDF format, by an Arlington-focused affordable housing advocacy group. [Alliance for Housing Solutions]
Will Kahlo Photos Give a Boost to Artisphere? — County officials are hoping that a month-long exhibit of the personal photos of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, which opens on Feb. 23, will help draw crowds and positive attention to the struggling Artisphere cultural center in Rosslyn. [Sun Gazette]