A former US Coast Guard officer has been jailed for 13 years for stockpiling weapons to carry out an alleged white supremacist attack, it was reported on Saturday.
Officials said Christopher Hasson, 50, was planning to target liberal politicians and news broadcasters, reports the BBC.
When he was arrested in February 2019, officers found a cache of 15 firearms – which, as a drug user, Hasson was banned from owning – and two illegal gun silencers. He was also in possession of the narcotic Tramadol without a prescription.
Before and during his sentencing hearing, prosecutors and defence attorneys sparred on whether or not Hasson would have gone on to commit mass murder.
The former lieutenant was inspired by racist mass murderers and “intended to exact retribution on minorities and those he considered traitors”, prosecutors told the court on Friday ahead of the sentencing.
He created an Excel spreadsheet with a list of targets, which included 12 prominent Democrats in Congress and a number of CNN and MSNBC journalists.
US Federal Attorney Robert Hur added that if he hadn’t been arrested when he was, “we now would be counting bodies of the defendant’s victims instead of years of the defendant’s prison time”.
Hasson pleaded guilty to firearms and drugs charges.