Judge releases man arrested at Trump hotel on weapons charges

A federal judge released the man arrested at the Trump International Hotel in downtown DC, ordering him to stay away from the White House and the hotel that bears the President's name until his next court hearing.

Court documents say Bryan Moles, a 43-year-old doctor from Edinboro, Pennsylvania, had an assault rifle, a handgun and ammunition in his vehicle in the hotel’s garage. Moles, a Navy veteran, was arrested Wednesday after the Pennsylvania State Police called DC authorities with a tip they received, indicating he was making threats and traveling to Washington to see President Donald Trump. He is being charged with unlawful possession and transportation of a firearm.

Moles made a first appearance before a DC Superior Court judge on Thursday, and was in federal court on Friday. The judge there ordered him to give up all his weapons at his Pennsylvania home, and also ordered that he undergo a mental evaluation. Moles was given special permission to live with a friend in the Atlanta area until his next hearing on June 22.

The judge ordered that he will be under court supervision while in Georgia, where he must report by Monday afternoon. Moles will undergo a mental evaluation at the VA hospital in Atlanta. He must also stay away from the District of Columbia unless he is meeting with lawyers or attending court proceedings. When he is in DC, he was also ordered to stay away from the White House and the Trump Hotel, specifically the area surrounded by Constitution Avenue NW to the south, 18th Street NW to the west, 9th Street NW to the east and Eye Street NW to the north. 

According to documents filed Thursday, Moles left a message for an acquaintance saying he had survival supplies, several cell phones and that his car resembled Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh “going on a camping trip.” The documents also say Moles said he was a “refugee intent on bringing down big pharmacy and big business medicine.” He also made mention of Olympic Park Bomber Eric Rudolph, who was convicted of perpetrating multiple acts of domestic terrorism.

The documents say Moles told authorities he suffered from PTSD, is a recovering alcoholic and that he'd drained his bank account before he left.

After his arrest, the Secret Service interviewed Moles and came away satisfied he was no threat to the president or anyone else they protect. D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said the weapons charge is serious and that his timely arrest may have averted a disaster.

In Moles' hotel room, investigators found a safe with $10,000 inside, and he told authorities that he'd emptied his bank account "in order to live the life he always wanted before it was too late," according to the charging documents. He left $4.19 in his account, corresponding to the date of McVeigh's bombing of a federal building on April 19, 1995. The blast killed 168 people. Moles told investigators he once wrote a term paper on McVeigh.

Shortly after Moles checked in to the Trump hotel, authorities located Moles' car, unlocked it and found an assault-style rifle and several magazines with ammunition, as well as rifle accessories and a semi-automatic pistol with six rounds of ammunition in it.

Moles' Facebook page is sprinkled with comments and photos indicating support for Trump. Last week, he posted a question: "If you had to choose between a Hilton Hotel and a Trump hotel, which would you choose and why?" Someone replied, "Trump all the way. The dark side wants to disarm the public so they can ... just walk through any resistance to their fascist thought police." Moles liked the comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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