Shickshinny Man To Plead To Machine Gun Offense

November 7, 2018

Shickshinny Man To Plead To Machine Gun Offense

WILKES-BARRE — A former U.S. Navy serviceman who federal prosecutors alleged threatened to commit a hate crime has agreed to plead guilty to a felony count of illegally possessing a machine gun.

John Jacob Hasay, 22, of Shickshinny, was accused of possessing a semi-automatic pistol that had been illegally modified to make it fire automatically.

The plea deal he entered into Wednesday calls for Hasay to admit possessing the modified Glock 19 9mm pistol, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

As part of the plea deal, Hasay agreed to the forfeiture of several weapons, magazines and ammunition, including an Israel Weapon Industries Uzi, a German Sport Guns 522 semi-automatic rifle and a short-barrelled Mossberg 500A shotgun.

Hasay, the son of former Magisterial District Judge John E. Hasay, was charged in August with possessing a machine gun and possessing an unregistered firearm. After his arrest, the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued that he should be detained pending trial because he is a danger to the community.

“The United States furnished (the) court with examples of Hasay’s written promise to commit a hate crime, ready access to illegally modified firearms and black-market firearm component dealers, and reoccurring advancements of Nazi and white supremacist-related ideologies,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo wrote in a filing.

Hasay’s attorney Al Flora Jr. disputed the allegations, saying that while Hasay had posted some “stupid stuff” on social media, prosecutors found no evidence that Hasay was planning a hate crime.

Hasay was never charged with any plot to commit violence, and as a result of the plea deal prosecutors will not pursue the charge of possessing an unregistered firearm.

Under terms of the deal, prosecutors will recommend a reduced sentence if Hasay demonstrates an adequate acceptance of responsibility.

No date was immediately set for Hasay to enter his plea.

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