Oct. 4 (UPI) — A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling weapons and plotting a domestic terrorist attack entered a guilty plea on Thursday.
Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson, 50, pleaded guilty to charges including unlawful possession of silencers, possession of firearms by a drug addict and possession of a controlled substance after court documents on Wednesday indicated he would do so.
A statement from Hasson’s attorney, Liz Oyer, said that he accepts for the responsibility for the offenses he committed, including possessing the firearms and addiction to a prescription opioid painkiller.
Oyer added, however, that the trial is not a domestic terrorism case and that it has been “mischaracterized and sensationalized” from the start.
“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,” Oyer said.
He was arrested on the gun charges in February after FBI agents discovered he had 15 firearms, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and a hit list of some 20 names of prominent activists, political organizers, left-leaning media personalities and Democratic congressional leaders.
Prosecutors called Hasson a self-described white nationalist and said he planned to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” but were unable to bring terrorism charges against him.
Hasson faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the firearm charges and has agreed to forfeit his weapons.