WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — A judge ordered that a man accused of hitting a barrier near the White House with a U-Haul truck Monday night be held for a detention hearing.
The federal charge against Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, is Depredation of Government Property. If convicted, Kandula, who is not a U.S. citizen or resident, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
At his arraignment Wednesday, prosecutors said Kandula, whose last address in the United States was in Missouri, traveled from St. Louis to D.C. with the express purpose of carrying out crime.
United States Park Police said Kandula drove into bollards located on the north side of Lafayette Square around 9:40 p.m. on May 22.
An affidavit filed by a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service said that Kandula stated he wanted to “seize power, and be put in charge of the nation.”
When asked about a Nazi flag he had with him, the agent said Kandula explained he bought it online and that “Nazis have a great history.” The agent said Kandula went on to say that he admired their “authoritarian nature, Eugenics, and their one world order.”
Prosecutors made the argument at Kandula’s arraignment that he should be detained because the crime of which he’s accused was a crime to influence the government, a crime of violence, and that he posed a flight risk because of his citizenship/residency status. They added that no foreign consulate had contacted the government on Kandula’s behalf.
Kandula has a court-appointed lawyer who did request that Kandula’s glasses be returned to him.