Judge orders US Coast Guardsman accused of plotting domestic terrorism to remain behind bars
- In a courtroom in Greenbelt, Maryland, Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day sided with prosecutors' request to hold US Coast Guardsman Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson - who is accused of being a "domestic terrorist" - without bail.
- The judge said they will revisit the request in 14 days, giving prosecutors two weeks to build their case.
- Hasson, 49, was arrested on February 15, by FBI Baltimore special agents and Coast Guard Investigative Service, on drug and weapons charges, according to the initial criminal complaint.
- Public defender Julie Stelzig, pushed back against prosecutors, CBS News reported, saying that they were making accusations without evidence.
A judge in Greenbelt, Maryland, sided with prosecutors' request to hold US Coast Guardsman Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson - who is accused of being a "domestic terrorist" - without bail.
During a hearing held on Thursday, Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day said the court would revisit the request in 14 days, giving prosecutors two weeks to build their case.Hasson, 49, was arrested on February 15 by FBI Baltimore special agents and Coast Guard Investigative Service on drug and weapons charges, according to the initial criminal complaint.
However, in a motion to detain Hasson pending trial filed on February 19, prosecutors laid out what they allege to be Hasson's plot to target lawmakers and journalists.
"The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct," the motion to detain pending trial reads.
During the hearing on Thursday afternoon, federal prosecutor Jennifer Sykes argued that initial charges were just the "tip of the iceberg," according to NBC News.
Authorities found 15 firearms and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, according to the motion filed on Tuesday. Prosecutors also accuse the defendant of possession of the schedule IV opioid called Tramadol.
In court, Sykes alleged that Hasson spent time on his US Coast Guard computer researching domestic terrorists like the Unabomber and the Virginia Tech gunman, CBS News reported.Court documents also point to a letter allegedly written to American neo-Nazi leader that Hasson ended up sending to himself, where he calls for violence and self identifies as a white nationalist who supports a "white homeland."
In their motion for detainment pending trial, prosecutors also allege that he spent time perusing the manifesto of Norwegian right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who was charged with murdering 77 people in Norway in July of 2011.
Law enforcement found a stockpile human growth hormone. Breivik suggests "an assailant should begin a six-week steroid cycle once all the equipment and components for their operation has been acquired and the preparation phase begins," court documents say.
They also claim that Hasson had created an Excel spreadsheet with what prosecutors allege were potential targets - including CNN and MSNBC personalities and Democratic lawmakers. The prosecutors also allege he Googled things like where members of congress live and "civil war if trump impeached."
Public defender Julie Stelzig, pushed back against prosecutors, CBS News reported, saying that they were making accusations without evidence.
"It is not a crime to think negative thoughts about people," she said, according to CBS News.
Hasson was with the US Coast Guard for 28 years; Stelzig called him a "committed public servant." He had been working at US Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, DC since 2016. Hasson also served in the US Marine Corps from 1988 to 1994.