An Idaho man who fired a high-powered rifle towards the White House’s front lawn in 2011 was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. Prosecutors said Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 23, of Idaho Falls, had fired at least 8 rounds towards the White House, narrowly missing the Secret Service officers who were standing guard on duty during the incident.
On September 18, 2013, Ortega-Hernandez plead guilty to one count of injury to a dwelling, placing lives on jeopardy within the territorial U.S., and another count of discharging a firearm at the scene during a crime of violence. According to documents filed by the prosecutors, Ortega-Hernandez began talking with his friends in 2010, expressing his discontent with the federal government. He claimed the government added fluoride to the tap water in order to control the masses, and that GPS was used to track the civilian population. Ortega-Hernandez openly criticized the U.S. government for “bullying” other countries and believed the war in Iraq and Afghanistan were unjust.
Ortega-Hernandez reportedly purchased an AK-47 assault rifle and 1,200 rounds of ammunition on March 19, 2011 from a private seller for $550. A few months later, Ortega-Hernandez purchase a magnification scope off the internet. He then spent the next 6 months target practicing with his new assault rifle in a barren crater that was coincidentally owned by the government.
The actual incident occurred on November 11, 2011. Around 8:50 pm that night, Ortega-Hernandez pulled up to Constitution Avenue NW, stopped his vehicle in the middle of the road, and began firing his AK-47 towards the general direction of the White House. Authorities believe Ortega-Hernandez had leaned over with his AK-47 resting on the passenger’s side window, at which point he fired upwards of 8 rounds towards the White House’s front lawn.
Ortega-Hernandez immediately fled the scene, but it didn’t take long for authorities to catch back up with him. Just 5 days long, he was taken into custody on a slew of terror-related charges.
“This man drove cross-country to launch an assault rifle attack on the White House from Constitution Avenue. He was motivated by hatred for the President and the desire to start a revolution against the federal government. We are very fortunate that his bullets narrowly missed the U.S. Secret Service officers guarding the White House that night. This 25-year prison sentence demonstrates that anyone who comes to the nation’s capital planning to use violence should expect to spend decades behind bars,” said U.S. Attorney Machen.