Coast Guard officer accused of plotting terrorist attack charged with illegally possessing silencers
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN | Associated Press | Published: February 27, 2019
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — A Coast Guard officer accused of being a white supremacist who compiled a hit list of prominent Democrats was indicted Wednesday on drug and firearms charges.
A federal grand jury in Maryland indicted Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, on charges of illegal possession of firearm silencers; possession of firearms by a drug addict and unlawful user; and possession of a controlled substance. Hasson has been detained since federal agents arrested him on related charges on Feb. 15.
In a court filing, prosecutors said Hasson has 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."
Prosecutors also claim Hasson drew up what appeared to be a computer-spreadsheet hit list that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, 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.
Investigators found 15 firearms, including seven rifles, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition when they searched Hasson's basement apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, according to prosecutors. The indictment also accuses Hasson of illegal possession of tramadol, an opioid painkiller.
Hasson hasn't been charged with any terrorism-related offenses. U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said in a statement Wednesday that authorities are still gathering evidence.
Hasson's arraignment wasn't immediately scheduled.
Elizabeth Genevieve Oyer, a public defender assigned to represent Hasson, declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.
During a hearing last Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Day agreed to keep Hasson behind bars but said he was willing to revisit his decision in 14 days if prosecutors haven't brought more serious charges by then.
A different public defender accused prosecutors of making inflammatory accusations against her client without providing the 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.