DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 25, 2019
David J. Freed
, United States Attorney
Contact: Dawn Clark

Benton Man Sentenced to 24 Months' Imprisonment for Possessing Illegal Firearms

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on April 23, 2019, United States District Court Judge James M. Munley sentenced John Jacob Hasay, age 22, of Benton, Pennsylvania, to 24 months’ imprisonment and a two-year term of supervised release, for the illegal possession of a machinegun.
 
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Hasay came to the attention of federal law enforcement after he posted content in online forums espousing racist and anti-Semitic statements, and threatened to commit a hate crime. Investigators determined that Hasay obtained an auto-sear, which is a device used to convert semi-automatic handguns to fully automatic capabilities, by smuggling it through U.S. Customs from Russia, disguised as a motorcycle part.
 
During the execution of a search warrant at Hasay’s residence, federal agents recovered several illegal firearms and associated components and ammunition. Those firearms and items were forfeited at Hasay’s sentencing, and included:
  1. Glock 19 9mm bearing an auto sear;
  2. CAA Model G3, Micro Roni pistol carbine conversion bearing a scope;
  3. IWI Model MP Uzi bearing a shortened barrel (a semiautomatic firearm that is capable of accepting a large capacity magazine);
  4. GSG Model 522 bearing a shortened barrel and a Black and Brown optic (a semiautomatic firearm that is capable of accepting a large capacity magazine);
  5. Charter Arms Model AR-7 Explorer bearing a shortened barrel (a semiautomatic firearm that is capable of accepting a large capacity magazine);
  6. Mossberg Model 500A bearing a shortened barrel;
  7. I.O. Inc. Sporter bearing a suppressor (a semiautomatic firearm that is capable of accepting a large capacity magazine); and
  8. Two suppressors.
Hasay has remained in detention since his arrest on August 23, 2018.
 
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo.
 
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
 
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Philadelphia Field Division