Police, responding to a complaint, discovered this week that a 42-year-old Annapolis man making repairs to the roof of the U.S. Supreme Court building was carrying a pistol, and in his van a block from the Capitol had a rifle equipped with a telescopic sight and a silencer, prosecutors said yesterday in court.
Philip Frederick Meyers, described as a sheet-metal worker employed under contract with the architect of the Capitol, was charged with possession of a weapon with a silencer and with possession of a weapon on Capitol Hill grounds. He was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond after a hearing before a U.S. District Court magistrate.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. O'Malley Jr. told Magistrate Arthur L. Burnett that it was unclear why Meyers, who allegedly was carrying a loaded .25-caliber automatic when working on the court's roof, had the weapons.
Meyers, a heavyset man who also operates a diving equipment store in Annapolis, appeared shaken as Burnett read the charges to him. He entered no plea, and both he and his attorney later declined to comment on the charges. Carrying a weapon in the Capitol area is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Possession of a weapon with a silencer also a carries a maximum 10-year term and a $10,000 fine.
O'Malley declined to explain what led U.S. Capitol Police to Meyers, other than to say they had received a complaint. He said that the officers called Meyers from the court building's roof Thursday, questioned him, arrested him, searched his van and found two rifles, including the one with a silencer, and 350 rounds of ammunition.
Meyers was booked Thursday on a city misdemeanor charge and released without bond. According to law enforcement officials, police later were advised to seek federal felony charges. Meyers was rearrested yesterday by Secret Service agents.