Kokesh pleads guilty in July 4 gun protest

Loaded a shot­gun in Free­dom Plaza

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY AN­DREA NOBLE

In­ter­net talk show host and rab­bler­ouser Adam Kokesh pleaded guilty Wed­nes­day to firearms-re­lated charges — as­sur­ing him im­mu­nity from any charges re­lated to the at­tempted smug­gling of a cell­phone into the D.C. Jail.

Kokesh’s gun-re­lated felony charges stem from a video­taped July Fourth stunt in which he loaded a shot­gun in the Dis­trict’s Free­dom Plaza as a protest of the city’s re­stric­tive firearms laws. Car­ry­ing a firearm out­side the home in the Dis­trict is il­le­gal and Kokesh pleaded guilty to car­ry­ing a ri­fle, pos­ses­sion of an un­reg­is­tered firearm, and un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of am­mu­ni­tion. In a sep­a­rate case, he pleaded guilty to a charge of mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion.

As a re­sult of the plea, Kokesh will be re­leased from cus­tody while await­ing his sen­tenc­ing in Jan­uary. He has been held in jail since July 9, when po­lice raided his Hern­don home and found 10 firearms as well as mar­i­juana and hal­lu­cino­genic mush­rooms.

His ar­rest came days af­ter the dis­tri­bu­tion on July 4 of a 22-sec­ond YouTube video, in which Kokesh is seen load­ing four shells into a shot­gun and pump­ing a shell into the cham­ber. Among the weapons re­cov­ered from Kokesh’s home was the 12-gauge shot­gun be­lieved to the weapon in the video, po­lice said.

Kokesh’s plea agree­ment states that as a re­sult of his guilty plea, pros­e­cu­tors will not seek to in­dict Kokesh on “the cir­cum­stances of the at­tempted in­tro­duc­tion of a cell­phone into the DC jail on or about Oc­to­ber 22, 2013.”

Jail spokes­woman Sylvia Lane said se­cu­rity stopped some­one from smug­gling a cell­phone into the jail to Kokesh. She did not iden­tify the per­son who was caught with the contraband.

Kokesh’s de­fense at­tor­ney, Larry Cald­well, was as­signed to take over case af­ter at­tor­ney Peter Cooper was dis­missed dur­ing an Oct. 23 emer­gency hear­ing in D.C. Su­pe­rior Court. He said there was a “con­flict” with the prior at­tor­ney but was

un­aware whether it was re­lated to the cell phone in­ci­dent.

“The prior at­tor­ney had a con­flict that hasn’t been di­vulged to me,” Mr. Cald­well said.

Mr. Cooper could not be reached for com­ment Wed­nes­day.

Pros­e­cu­tors wouldn’t say much about the jail in­ci­dent.

“No one has been charged with re­spect to that,” said Wil­liam Miller, spokesman for the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

As a con­di­tion of Kokesh’s re­lease, he was or­dered not to pos­sess any weapons, to stay out of the Dis­trict un­less for le­gal ap­point­ments, and to re­port weekly to Pre­trial Ser­vices Agency by phone. His sen­tenc­ing is sched­uled for Jan. 17. Drug charges stemming from the raid on Kokesh’s home are still pend­ing in Fair­fax County Dis­trict Court. A hear­ing is sched­uled for Dec. 16 on those charges.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Adam Kokesh was ar­rested af­ter a video posted on YouTube showed him load­ing a shot­gun in Free­dom Plaza as a protest.

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