White House Fence Jumper Omar Gonzalez Sentenced to 17 Months in Prison

by Andy Gross /  / Updated 

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WASHINGTON — The Army veteran who pleaded guilty to scaling a White House fence with a folding knife last fall was sentenced Tuesday to 17 months in prison.

Omar Gonzalez's brazen breach of security included him rushing past guards and getting all the way to the East Room of the White House before he was tackled. The Obamas were not home.

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Gonzalez, 43, pleaded guilty to entering a restricted building while carrying a deadly weapon and assaulting a Secret Service agent. Federal prosecutors said he had "a history of encounters with law enforcement where he has described paranoid delusions," and amassed weapons, including high-powered rifles, tomahawks and knives.

During his sentencing, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer told him he cannot stockpile such a collection: "No more knives, no more guns, no more tomahawks, no more machetes. Got it?"

"Yes," Gonzalez answered.

He is being transferred to a prison in California. With time served, he could be released in December, and must be placed into his father's custody, the court said.

The White House security lapse was one in a series of blunders for the Secret Service, and has led to security enhancements to the property.

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