Questions surround DC gun arrest of poultry exec

By the Associated Press | July 24, 2014 | 7:04 PM EDT

This undated image released by North Carolina State University shows Ronald Prestage, where he serves on the campus board of trustees. U.S. Capitol Police say a Prestage has been arrested Wednesday, July 23, 2014, after officers found a gun in his bag when he tried to enter the Cannon Building. Prestage was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. (AP Photo/North Carolina State University)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A South Carolina pork-and-poultry executive was charged after police say he tried to enter a congressional office building in Washington with a loaded handgun.

Ronald William Prestage, 59, of Camden, South Carolina, was arrested after he tried to enter the Cannon House Office Building Wednesday morning with a 9 mm Ruger, said U.S. Capitol Police.

A court document says Prestage's briefcase was put through an X-ray machine, and the weapon was discovered inside in a black ankle holster. Court documents say Prestage said he has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in South Carolina. District of Columbia law does not allow the carrying of concealed weapons, and Prestage was charged with carrying a pistol outside a home or business.

Prestage is an executive of Prestage Farms, based in Clinton, North Carolina, and a member of the North Carolina State University Board of Trustees.

He also is president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council, a lobbying group. A spokesman for the group, David Warner, said in an email Thursday that Prestage was not on official business for the group when he went to the Cannon building on Capitol Hill. The building houses offices for members of the House of Representatives.

Telephone messages left Thursday with Prestage Farms, Prestage's lawyer and at numbers for Prestage's family and were not immediately returned.