For Immediate Release
Darrell Lansing Hobbs Sentenced for Counterfeiting Conspiracy and Being a Felon in Possession of Firearms
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On March 27, 2018, Darrell Lansing Hobbs, a/k/a Darrell “Lance” Hobbs, 36, of Gray, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 120 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to produce counterfeit obligations of the United States with intent to defraud the government, possession of stolen firearms and being a felon in possession of firearms. The court imposed the statutory maximums of 120 months on both gun charges and 60 months on the counterfeiting conspiracy charges. The sentences will run concurrently.
Hobbs pleaded guilty in October 2017 to the charges referenced above. Details of the conspiracy are included in his plea agreement on file with U.S. District Court. According to the plea agreement, from March 2017 through July 2017 Hobbs and three co-conspirators produced counterfeit Federal Reserve notes, which were used and attempted to be used to purchase various items from retail outlets and private individuals, including firearms, tools and at least one vehicle. Additionally, he and another co-conspirator sold firearms during May and June 2017 that were considered stolen since they had previously been purchased by them using counterfeit notes. As a convicted felon, it was illegal for Hobbs to possess firearms or ammunition at any time.
Hobbs along with his co-conspirators produced the counterfeit notes by taping real money to a flatbed scanner, scanning them, and then printing the front and back of the scanned notes to various types of parchment paper purchased from a local retail establishment. Investigators determined that Hobbs and co-conspirators produced between $95,000 and $150,000 in counterfeit Federal Reserve notes.
Others charged in this conspiracy included: Sean Bowman, 19, of Jonesborough, Tennessee; Robert William Guy, 19, of Kingsport, Tennessee; and Jason Massengill, 39, of Kingsport, Tennessee. Bowman pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and was sentenced to serve five years of probation after serving approximately five months in prison. Guy pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and awaits sentencing. Massengill also pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and was recently sentenced to serve 37 months in federal prison.
Investigative agencies participating in this case included the United States Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kingsport Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Carter County Sheriff’s Office, Bluff City Police Department, Erwin Police Department and Elizabethton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney TJ Harker represented the United States in court proceedings.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.