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White House Intruder Gets 17-Month Sentence

  • VOA News

FILE - Pedestrians walk by a lower, portable fence that was placed in front of the White House in Washington to establish a security buffer zone after an intruder, Omar Gonzalez, cleared the taller fence last year.

FILE - Pedestrians walk by a lower, portable fence that was placed in front of the White House in Washington to establish a security buffer zone after an intruder, Omar Gonzalez, cleared the taller fence last year.

The U.S. Army veteran who scaled the White House fence in Washington last year and then ran into the heavily guarded presidential mansion was sentenced Tuesday to a 17-month prison term.

White House fence jumper Omar Gonzalez, 42, is shown in this booking photo from the New River Regional Jail in Dublin, Va., released September 23, 2014.

White House fence jumper Omar Gonzalez, 42, is shown in this booking photo from the New River Regional Jail in Dublin, Va., released September 23, 2014.

Authorities said Omar Gonzalez, 43, was carrying a folding knife when he jumped the fence in September. Numerous intruders have climbed over the White House fence in recent years, but Gonzalez was the first to actually get into the mansion before being apprehended.

The decorated Iraq War veteran, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, has been jailed since his arrest. He will receive credit for the nine months he has already served, cutting his remaining term to eight months. When he has completed his sentence, he will be banned from visiting Washington and must receive psychiatric treatment.

Gonzalez's intrusion at the White House played a role in a leadership shakeup at the Secret Service, the agency responsible for White House security and protection of President Barack Obama and his family. The Secret Service director at the time, Julia Pierson, resigned.

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