Christopher Dean Taggart, 52, of Hampstead, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, as well as illegal possession of a destructive device, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Friday.
On Oct. 14, 2017, a 911 call was made for medical assistance to a residence in Hampstead, according to the release, citing Taggart’s plea agreement. Baltimore County emergency medical services personnel went to the residence and discovered Taggart unresponsive on the floor in the basement area, and the EMS personnel saw lines of a white powdery substance on a surface close to where Taggart was lying, and several baggies containing powdery substances were also in plain view, according to the release.
EMS personnel administered Narcan, a medication that blocks or reverses the effects of opioids, and Taggart was transported to a hospital. Baltimore County Police officers obtained a search warrant for the residence, based upon observations of the contraband in plain view, and a federal search warrant was subsequently obtained for the property.
Taggart had lived in the basement area of the residence for approximately 15 years, and a detached shed was built on the property in approximately 2010. According to the release, when the warrants were executed, law enforcement seized 13 firearms, thousands of rounds of various caliber ammunition, and two improvised destructive devices, as well as body armor, armored plates, and ballistic tiles. All of the prohibited items were found in the basement area and in the shed located on the property. Law enforcement also seized several prohibited controlled substances from the living area in the basement.
Taggart had been prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition, explosive materials, and body armor because of his prior conviction for a violent felony in Carroll County. On Feb. 14, 1996, Taggart was convicted in Carroll County Circuit Court of attempted robbery with a deadly weapon; wear/carry of a handgun; and possession of a pipe bomb.
The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III, was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to the release, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve in an effort to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer. Project Safe Neighborhoods is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.