Former Coast Guard officer accused of plotting ‘mass casualty assault’ gets 13-year prison sentence

Former Coast Guard officer accused of plotting ‘mass casualty assault’ gets 13-year prison sentence
FBI Special Agent In Charge of the Baltimore Field Office Gordon Johnson, center, speaks with U.S, Attorney for Maryland Robert Hur, right, and U.S. Coast Guard Investigator Art Walker, left, in Greenbelt, Md., on Feb. 21, 2019, after U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson of Silver Spring, Maryland, was arrested on illegal weapons and drug charges as a result of an ongoing investigation led by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, in cooperation with the FBI and Department of Justice. (Jim WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

A former Marine and lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard suspected of plotting a mass casualty assault was sentenced on Friday to more than 13 years in prison on weapons and drug charges, multiple news outlets reported.

Christopher Hasson, 50, originally faced 31 years in prison after prosecutors argued he amassed a weapons arsenal and crafted a hit list of political and media targets, CNN reported.

“The need to protect the public is of paramount importance,” U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel said, when handing down the 160-month federal prison sentence to be followed by four years of supervised release.

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The reduced sentence was part of a plea deal reached in October, USA Today reported.

Hazel also said during the sentencing he believes Hasson was preparing to execute a “mass casualty assault as a way to act out his white nationalist views.”

In his first public comments since his arrest nearly one year ago, Hasson said he has no history of violence and never had any intention of hurting anyone “in any way, shape or form,” USA Today reported. He did, however, apologize to his family, the Coast Guard and the general public for the alarm his actions caused.

“I am embarrassed by these things and sorry for the pain they have caused,” he said.

According to USA Today, Hasson was arrested in February 2019 for stockpiling weapons and plotting attacks against Supreme Court justices, high-profile Democrats and TV journalists.

His potential target spreadsheet included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader, Chuck Schumer, MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough, and Chris Cuomo and Van Jones of CNN, the newspaper reported.

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