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Webb aide's gun charge dropped by prosecutor


 Webb
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Date published: 4/28/2007

WASHINGTON--Authorities dropped charges yesterday against an aide to Virginia Sen. Jim Webb who carried a loaded gun into the U.S. Capitol complex.

"After reviewing and analyzing all of the evidence in the case, we do not believe the essential elements of the crime of carrying a pistol without a license can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt," said U.S. Attorney Jeff Taylor, top prosecutor in the District of Columbia.

Webb senior aide Phillip Thompson, 45, of Stafford County, was arrested on March 26 after Capitol Police spotted the loaded pistol and two other loaded magazines in a briefcase being scanned by an X-ray machine at the entrance of the Russell Senate office building.

Thompson told the officer at the building's entrance that the weapon belonged to Webb.

The senator said later he did not give Thompson the gun but refused to say whether it was his. Webb told reporters Thompson had carried the gun into the building "completely inadvertently."

District of Columbia law prohibits carrying a handgun or concealed weapon without a license.

--The Associated Press