Man Pleads Guilty After Crashing Into White House Barrier

Man Pleads Guilty After Crashing Into White House Barrier

( – A 20-year-old man who intentionally crashed a U-Haul truck into a security barrier near the White House in 2023 has acknowledged his wrongdoing in court. Sai Varshith Kandula pleaded guilty to one charge of willful depredation of federal property at a hearing on May 13.

Kandula’s decision to smash through the barrier reportedly stemmed from a misguided six-month plan to seize control of the government. According to court documents, the young man said he intended to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation.” He also told investigators that he would willingly kill President Joe Biden or anyone else who got in the way if it became necessary.

United States Park Police (USPP) apprehended Kandula shortly after he crashed into the fence, preventing any further harm. When they initially found him, he was standing on top of his vehicle waving a large nazi flag. Kandula reportedly praised Adolf Hitler and complimented the party’s authoritarian history when an officer questioned why he had the item.

During his court appearance on Monday, Kandula quietly admitted to slamming the van into the barrier and confirmed that he spent nearly half a year mapping out the ill-fated escapade. His defense attorney, N. Scott Rosenblum, revealed that he had since been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was taking medication to treat the condition.

Kandula also told the court he was born in India and does not currently hold citizenship in the US. The 20-year-old acknowledged that he would likely be deported after serving out his sentence, which is standard practice for foreign nationals convicted of federal crimes.

Court records show that Kandula was remanded into the custody of a DC jail last year to await trial. However, his lawyers have repeatedly expressed frustration over the facility’s alleged failure to properly address his schizophrenia, which they say contributed to his crimes.

Depredation of federal property carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. Prosecutors had initially sought to apply a terrorism enhancement to the charge under 18 U.S. Code § 2332b, raising that number to 25 years. However, Kandula’s lawyers negotiated a plea deal with a recommended sentence of just eight years instead.

The court scheduled his sentencing hearing in August.

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