On Tuesday, federal officers began an active investigation after a 32-year-old man from Gainesville, Florida, identified as Eric Sandow, was encountered by security guards outside the gate of the CIA headquarters near Dolley Madison Preschool in Virginia.
According to a law enforcement source, Sandow stated he “had a gun” and was not granted access to the facility. Police were called and they located Sandow’s vehicle on the grounds of the school, where they confiscated an AK-47 and a pistol. Along with magazines and ammunition, the weapons were never taken from the car.
Sandow was arraigned Wednesday morning in Fairfax County General District Court and requested a public defender, though an attorney has not yet been assigned to his case. Sandow remarking that he “worked for the CIA” – although, there is currently no evidence that suggests he has any relation to the agency. Police described Sandow as displaying strange and paranoid behavior.
It is not clear why the Florida native went to the agency headquarters. Sandow’s internet presence is limited and does not display any related affiliations or activity. Additionally, Sandow has not declared a political party with his voter registration and does not show a lengthy history of criminal records, except for a misdemeanor domestic battery charge in 2014.
Law enforcement credited the alert community member who reported the strange activity. “We’re grateful to the community member who did the right thing and called us,” they said. “We’d like to remind our community to report suspicious behavior as you never know what you may prevent by making the effort.”
Due to potential safety risks, Eric Sandow is being held in a detention center in northern Virginia until his bail hearing which is scheduled for Thursday.