Homeland Security worker charged with carrying gun

Ben Nuckols
Associated Press

Washington — A Department of Homeland Security contractor has been charged with bringing a gun to the agency’s Washington headquarters, but department officials said there were no indications he planned to harm anyone.

Thomas Pressley, 33, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was arrested on Monday and charged with carrying an unlicensed pistol, according to court documents. The 9 mm handgun was discovered inside a black leather bag during a security screening, the documents show.

In a memo alerting employees to the arrest, DHS said “we currently have no information to suggest that this individual sought to cause harm.”

Last month, DHS analyst Jonathan Wienke was also charged with carrying an unlicensed pistol after he was found to have brought a gun along with a knife, pepper spray and handcuffs with him to work. A federal investigator wrote in an affidavit that Wienke was planning to commit workplace violence.

However, on Wednesday, the department’s chief security officer, Richard McComb, told a House homeland security subcommittee that “there is no indication that either of these individuals were planning or conspiring to commit workplace violence.”

He did not elaborate, but said the investigations were ongoing. Wienke has not been charged with any additional offenses.

Pressley, 33, also pleaded guilty in 2007 in Virginia to a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon, court records show. His attorney, Patricia Cresta-Savage, did not immediately return messages on Wednesday.

Pressley was released from custody on Wednesday and ordered not to possess any firearms and to undergo drug testing, court records show. He is due back in court on Friday.