Monday, July 22, 2024

Three-year sentence for Wilmington man caught with firearm ‘stockpile’ after lying about past mental illness

A Wilmington man has been sentenced to prison time after attempting to purchase several firearms despite having been committed to multiple mental health facilities (Port City Daily/File)
A Wilmington man has been sentenced to prison time after attempting to purchase several firearms despite having been committed to multiple mental health facilities. (Port City Daily/File)

WILMINGTON — A Wilmington man, Hasan Eminof, 20, has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to illegally stockpiling firearms.

“On November 19, 2018, Eminof pled guilty to a three-count Indictment, charging two counts of making a false statement to a licensed firearm dealer and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who had been adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution,” according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

According to the release, Eminof had been involuntarily committed to a mental institution in 2015 by the Brunswick County District Court due to mental illness and being a danger to himself where he spent 30 days.

In 2016 he was again involuntarily committed to a mental facility in Wayne County — this history of mental illness made him ineligible to possess firearms.

“Eminof, nonetheless, tried to purchase firearms on at least three occasions from June to October of 2016. In particular, on June 8, 2016, Eminof attempted to purchase an AR-15 rifle at Backwater Guns in Wilmington, and on July 21, 2016, he attempted to purchase a ‘long gun’ at Bullzeye Shooting, also in Wilmington,” according to the DOJ.

Both times, Eminof completed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473, the over-the-counter firearm transaction record; question 11.f of the form asked, “Have you ever been adjudicated as a mental defective OR have you ever been committed to a mental institution?”

“In both instances, contrary to his history, Eminof checked the ‘No’ box and signed the form, indicating that all his answers were true, correct, and complete. Despite the misrepresentations, the background checks correctly determined that he was a prohibited person, and the firearms dealers declined to make the sales,” according to the release.

In March of 2018, he was found in possession of multiple firearms including four handguns, a shotgun, and a rifle.

“Eminof was on state probation, and his probation officers conducted a warrantless search of his Wilmington residence. When they arrived, they found Eminof sitting in his parked car, which smelled of marijuana. Searching the car, the officers found not only a small amount of marijuana but also a stockpile of firearms – four handguns, a pistol-grip shotgun, and a rifle. Four of the firearms were loaded, and officers also seized additional loaded magazines for the handguns as well as loose ammunition for the shotgun and rifle. In addition to the firearms and ammunition, officers recovered from the car four knives, a brass knuckles Taser device, six cell phones, and a full-head goblin mask,” the release states.


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