'Pizzagate' Gunman Pleads Guilty To Weapons Charges

A baseless conspiracy theory tied Hillary Clinton and other Democratic leaders to a supposed sex ring run out of the basement of Comet Ping Pong

No one was injured, but the episode sent Comet Ping Pong employees and patrons running for their lives when Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, walked in with the assault weapon and a.38-caliber Colt revolver.

The North Carolina man who police say fired an assault rifle in a Washington, DC, pizzeria while investigating an online conspiracy theory known as "Pizzagate" pleaded guilty Friday to gun charges in federal court.

Authorities say Welch fired multiple shots inside the Comet Ping Pong restaurant December 4, after driving from North Carolina to investigate a conspiracy theory about Democrats harbouring child sex slaves. He pleaded guilty to a federal charge for transporting firearms and a local charge for assault with a unsafe weapon.

Prosecutors dropped a third charge of possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.

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Welch faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in June.

He has also agreed to pay US$5,744 in restitution to Comet Ping Pong to cover the damage he did to a lock, door, computer and ping pong table.

Welch traveled to the restaurant that December day to further investigate the rumors he had read about online. He fired the assault weapon into the restaurant several times, at one point aiming it at an employee who had come of out the pizzeria's back area after everyone had fled.

The defendant was motivated, at least in part, by unfounded rumors concerning a child sex-trafficking ring that was being perpetrated by high-profile individuals at Comet.

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"Raiding a pedo ring, possible [sic] sacrificing the lives of a few for the lives of many", Welch texted, according to federal prosecutors.

During the Friday hearing, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson asked Welch if he transported weapons from his home in North Carolina to the Washington, D.C. pizzeria.

He continued: "Staning up against a corrupt system that kidnaps, tortures and rapes babies and children in our own backyard". He will remain detained until then.

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