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Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson Pleads Guilty In Illegally Stockpiling Weapons, Buying Opioid Tramadol

GREENBELT, Md. (WJZ) —  A Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling weapons and targeting Supreme Court justices, prominent Democrats and TV journalists has pleaded guilty in a case charging him with gun and drug offenses Thursday.

Federal prosecutors charged 50-year-old Christopher Hasson of Silver Spring with four counts -- including unlawful possession of unregistered silencers, unlawful possession of firearm silencers unidentified by serial number, possession of firearms by an addict to and unlawful user of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance.

He was arrested on Feb. 15, 2019, and has been detained since his arrest.

Prosecutors described Hasson as a domestic terrorist, but they haven't filed any terrorism-related charges against him. In a court filing, prosecutors said Hasson "intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country."

Coast Guard Lieutenant Hit List
This image provided by the U.S. District Court in Maryland shows a photo of firearms and ammunition that was in the motion for detention pending trial in the case against Christopher Paul Hasson. Prosecutors say that Hasson, a Coast Guard lieutenant is a "domestic terrorist" who wrote about biological attacks and had a hit list that included prominent Democrats and media figures. He is due in court on Feb. 21 in Maryland. Prosecutors say Hasson espoused extremist views for years. Court papers say Hasson described an "interesting idea" in a 2017 draft email that included "biological attacks followed by attack on food supply." (U.S. District Court via AP)

"I am grateful for the hard work of the agents and prosecutors to obtain this guilty plea.  I look forward to the opportunity for the government to present additional evidence to the Court at sentencing," said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur.

Hasson was a lieutenant in the United States Coast Guard.  Before June 2016, Hasson owned a residence and lived in Currituck, North Carolina. Around June 2016, Hasson moved to a home in Silver Spring, Maryland, and worked at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Hasson admitted that from March 2016 through February 2019 he used various e-mail accounts to order Tramadol, an opioid, from illegal Internet distributors. He paid for the drugs using MoneyGram or Western Union to send money to a distributor in Mexico. The distributor then sent the drugs to addresses in the U.S., including Hasson's North Carolina and Maryland homes.

He ordered at least 4,650 Tramadol pills and took the pills daily while he was at work.

"Hasson knew that he did not have a lawful prescription for Tramadol and that his possession of the drug was illegal.  During the time of his use of Tramadol, Hasson also conducted Internet searches and visited websites that discussed addiction and Tramadol withdrawal," a press release from the U.S. Attorney stated.

During this time, he also searched for information on the Internet about Tramadol addiction and withdrawal.

When he was arrested, agents recovered 196 Tramadol pills from his backpack. Search warrants found another 106 pills at his desk at the Coast Guard headquarters and 122 pills in his home.

Law enforcement officials also recovered seven rifles; two shotguns; four pistols; two revolvers; an assembled firearm silencer; and a disassembled firearm silencer from his home. Agents also found multiple magazines that could accept more than 15 rounds of ammunition, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition near the weapons.

Hasson bought the silencers from a company in California and assembled one of the silencers using a drill. He knew firearm silencers were not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, and that they did not have serial numbers, as required by law, the plea agreement stated.

Hasson faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each of the three charges related to firearms and the firearm silencers, and a maximum of one year in prison for possession of tramadol. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for January 31, 2020, at 9:30 a.m.

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