Coast Guard officer accused of mass killing plot pleads guilty
A Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting a domestic terror attack pleaded guilty Thursday to four counts of weapons and drug charges.
Christopher Hasson, 50, of Silver Spring, Maryland, faces a maximum of 31 years in federal prison for the crimes, and will be sentenced on January 31, 2020.
Hasson was first charged in February, facing counts of unlawful possession of two improperly registered silencers, possession of a narcotic opioid and possession of 17 firearms as an unlawful user and addict of a controlled substance.
Liz Oyer, Hasson’s federal public defender, said Thursday that the guilty plea reflects that he “accepts responsibility for the offenses he did commit,” but also shows that the case has been “mischaracterized and sensationalized from the start.”
“It is not a domestic terrorism case. Mr. Hasson was not plotting a terrorist attack or any of the abhorrent acts that the prosecution has repeatedly speculated about but never actually charged,” she said in a statement. “Mr. Hasson is a peaceful, loving family man. He has devoted his life to serving his country. He and his wife have two grown children who have gone on to do the same.
Prosecutors have said Hasson is a white supremacist who had a hit list that included prominent Democratic politicians as well as several journalists from CNN and MSNBC.
Oyer added, “Mr. Hasson never meant any harm to anyone. He deeply regrets the pain and embarrassment that he has caused his family and the U.S. Coast Guard, which he has proudly and honorably served for more than 20 years.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland has not yet issued any statement.