Two years after Hunter Biden left a crack pipe in a Prescott, Arizona rental car, the secret service intervened in an incident in which Hallie Biden - his brother's widow - threw Hunter's .38 revolver into a trash can behind a grocery store, only to return later to find it gone.
Hallie, who was dating Hunter at the time, had searched Hunter's pickup truck while it was parked at her Wilmington, Delaware home, because of "suspicions she had," and decided to wrap the gun in a black plastic bag and toss it in the trash behind Janssen's Market - a high-end grocery store where the Bidens are longtime regular customers, according to Politico.
Later that day, Hallie informed Hunter of what she had done, and he instructed her to retrieve the gun, according to the police report. When Hallie returned to the grocery store, she found that the gun was missing from the garbage bin and reported the issue to the store. Police received calls from the store’s general manager, Paula Janssen, and from another person, according to the report.
The missing gun caused heightened concern, according to the police report, because the grocery store sits across the street from Alexis I. du Pont High School. -Politico
Delaware police launched an investigation - worried that the trash can was across from a high school and that someone could have used it in a crime, according to a copy of the police report obtained by Politico. The FBI, meanwhile, also responded to the scene - as they had been monitoring Hunter Biden as part of an investigation which remains ongoing and which focuses on his taxes.
Hunter was called to the scene by police, where he told them outside the store's loading dock area that he used the gun for target practice.
When a police officer asked Hunter whether the gun had been used in a crime, the officer reported that Hunter "became very agitated with me and asked me if I was intentionally trying to make him mad," according to the report.
When the officer asked Hunter whether he had been doing drugs or drinking heavily, he responded, "Listen, it isn't like that. I think she believes I was gonna kill myself," according to the report.
At the same time, Secret Service agents approached the owner of the gun store where Hunter had bought the gun earlier that month, and demanded they be allowed to remove the paperwork involving the sale, according to the report, which cites two people with separate knowledge of the incident.
The gun store owner, Ron Palmieri, refused to comply, suspecting that the Secret Service might want to "hide Hunter's ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime." Palmieri eventually turned the paperwork over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
A copy of Hunter's Firearms Transaction Record, he responded "no to a question which asks "Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?" - five years after he had been discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine, and two years before he that crack pipe in an Arizona rental car. He and his family have also spoken openly about his cocaine addiction.
BREAKING: Text message from Hunter Biden confirms involvement of Secret Service in his illegal firearm incident pic.twitter.com/1vb8GGJidX— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) March 26, 2021
The Secret Service says they have no record of their agents approaching the gun store owner, while Joe Biden claimed through a spokesperson that he had no knowledge of any Secret Service involvement.
He also kicked a bunch of people out of the White House for smoking WEED. https://t.co/zeih8CZFLD— I got your #Unity right here (@jtLOL) March 25, 2021
Days after the incident, the gun was returned "by an older man who regularly rummages through the grocery store's trash to collect recyclable items," according to the report.
The incident did not result in charges or arrests.
But the alleged involvement of the Secret Service remains a mystery. One law enforcement official said that at the time of the incident, individual Secret Service agents at the agency’s offices in Wilmington, Del., and Philadelphia kept an informal hand in maintaining the former vice president’s security. The person cited an instance in 2019 when the Wilmington office of the Secret Service called the Delaware State Police to arrange security for a public appearance by Biden.
The Secret Service declined to answer a question about whether it had informal involvement in Biden's security during this period.
Asked whether the Secret Service requested state police security for Biden during the period when he was not under the agency’s protection, a Delaware State Police spokesman said, "I have reached out to our sergeant who oversees the Executive Protection Unit with the Delaware State Police. He is unaware of any such requests or services provided." -Politico
According to law enforcement officials, any involvement by the Secret Service on behalf of the Bidens would inappropriate interference with a Delaware State Police investigation and the FBI, according to law enforcement officials.
While Hunter was being questioned at the scene, he told a police officer that two "Mexican males" employed by Janssen's looked suspicious, and were "Prolly illegal," according to the report.