Former student, avid protester arrested after using gun in political stunt

Adam Kokesh, a former graduate student, was arrested for having drugs while also in possession of a gun Tuesday evening. He has been arrested several times. Photo used under the Creative Commons License

Police arrested a former GW student Tuesday for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms and a gun, about a week after he wielded a shotgun in Freedom Plaza as part of a political stunt.

U.S. Park Police searched Adam Kokesh’s house in Herndon, Va. and took him into custody, the Washington Post reported. Kokesh, a former Graduate School of Political Management student, was then held overnight in Fairfax, Va.

The famed anti-government activist had posted a video of himself in downtown D.C. on July 4, in which he appears to be loading a shotgun.

The Park Police is responsible for patrolling the plaza, but a lieutenant told the Post she did not know if the video was the reason for the search of Kokesh’s house about 25 miles west of D.C.

Kokesh had planned an armed rally on the National Mall on July 4 to combat the District’s ban on openly carrying firearms. But he called off the march in late May, urging Second Amendment advocates to instead take their grievances to state capitols.

Possession of a firearm that is not registered in the District carries a penalty of up to a year in prison.

Police cars and two helicopters, according to a release posted on Kokesh’s Web site, “barricaded” his street and officers used a battering ram to knock in the front door. The release claimed police then searched Kokesh’s house for five hours.

He refused to let officers take his fingerprints or speak to court officials Wednesday.

The court has scheduled to arraign Kokesh on Thursday and set a preliminary hearing for Oct. 2.

Possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms, a narcotic, is a felony in Virginia and punishable up to 10 years in prison. If the court convicts Kokesh of possession of the drugs while also having a gun, he could face an additional two years in prison.

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