Maryland man accused of stockpiling guns and drafting a kill list isn't facing terrorism charges, lawyer says
By Michael Kunzelman
Apr 16, 2019 at 11:45 AM
COLLEGE PARK — A Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling guns and compiling a hit list of prominent Democrats and network TV journalists is seeking his release from federal custody since prosecutors haven't charged him with any terrorism-related offenses.
In a February court filing, prosecutors called Hasson a "domestic terrorist" and said he "intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country." They also said he is a self-described white nationalist who espoused extremist views for years and drafted an email in which he said he was "dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth."
According to court records, Christopher Paul Hasson found inspiration in a 1,500-page manifesto prepared by Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing Norwegian extremist who killed 77 people, many of them children, in a bomb-and-gun rampage in 2011 that he called his “martyrdom operation."
By Isaac Stanley-Becker
Feb 21, 2019 at 11:25 AM
During a Feb. 21 detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Day agreed to keep Hasson held in custody but said he was willing to revisit his decision if prosecutors didn't bring more serious charges within two weeks.
Oyer, an assistant federal public defender, is asking Judge Day to schedule another detention hearing for Hasson "at the earliest agreeable date for all parties."
Oyer said her client's alleged domestic terrorism activities were "the heart of the government's case for detention." A prosecutor wrote in the February court filing that the drug and firearms charges were the "proverbial tip of the iceberg."
"No other crimes have been charged," Oyer wrote. "Moreover, during a recent status call, government counsel advised the Court and defense counsel that it does not expect to file a superseding indictment in this matter."
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A Coast Guard officer accused of stockpiling guns and compiling a hit list of prominent Democrats and network TV journalists pleaded not guilty on Monday to drug and firearms charges.
By Lynh Bui
Mar 11, 2019 at 9:00 PM
Hasson pleaded not guilty last month to charges of illegal possession of firearm silencers, possession of firearms by a drug addict and unlawful user, and possession of a controlled substance. He faces a maximum of 31 years in prison if convicted of all four counts in his indictment.
Investigators found 15 guns, including seven rifles, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition at Hasson's basement apartment in Silver Spring, prosecutors said. Hasson's Feb. 27 indictment also accuses him of illegal possession of tramadol, an opioid painkiller.
Prosecutors alleged Hasson drew up what appeared to be a computer-spreadsheet hit list that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and presidential hopefuls Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Several network TV journalists — MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough and CNN's Chris Cuomo and Van Jones — also were mentioned.
A different public defender has accused prosecutors of making inflammatory accusations against Hasson without providing evidence to back them up.
Hasson, a former Marine, worked at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington on a program to acquire advanced new cutters for the agency. A Coast Guard spokesman has said Hasson will remain on active duty until the case against him is resolved.