Edgar Maddison Welch drove to Washington from North Carolina on December 4 to investigate an internet conspiracy theory.
The Salisbury man inspired by a conspiracy theory to open fire in a Washington D.C. pizza shop pleaded guilty Friday morning.
Edgar Maddison Welch entered the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington DC in December past year, armed with an AR-15 rifle.
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Welch, 28, entered guilty pleas to a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition plus a D.C. charge of assault with a risky weapon.
Both the federal and D.C. charge have 10-year maximum prison sentences.
Welch was originally indicted on a possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence charge, but that was dropped in his plea agreement. Edgar Maddison Welch said he was motivated by the storm of fake online news about a suspected child trafficking ring allegedly running out of the restaurant and led by Hillary Clinton. Welch read the fake news on non-credible websites and watched YouTube videos that spread the fake story, according to the plea agreement.
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He continued: "Staning up against a corrupt system that kidnaps, tortures and rapes babies and children in our own backyard". Welch arrived at the restaurant at about 3 p.m., where he proceeded inside with a.38 revolver on his hip and the loaded AR-15 in his grip. Welch made his way to the back of the restaurant with no one interfering.
Welch's official sentencing is set for June 22 - in the meantime, he will remain jailed.
Employees and customers inside the restaurant, including children, fled when Welch entered, according to charging documents.
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Welch also faces potential fines and must pay restitution for damage to a computer, door lock and a ping pong table at the restaurant. An employee who was outside said that he heard three loud bangs, and that when he came inside Welch pointed the rifle at him, an allegation that Welch denied.