Law Enforcement Seized 13 Firearms, Over 3,800 Rounds of Various Caliber Ammunition, An Improvised Explosive Device, Body Armor, and Armored Plates, as well as Numerous Controlled Substances from the Defendant’s Residence
Baltimore, Maryland (STL.News) – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Christopher Dean Taggart, age 52, of Hampstead, Maryland, today to 57 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, as well as illegal possession of a destructive device.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to his plea agreement, on October 14, 2017, a 911 call was made for medical assistance to a residence in Hampstead, Maryland. Baltimore County Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) personnel went to the residence and discovered Taggart unresponsive on the floor in the basement area. The EMS personnel saw lines of a white powdery substance on a surface close to where Taggart was lying, and several baggies containing powdery substances were also in plain view. EMS personnel administered Narcan, a medication that blocks or reverses the effects of opioids, and Taggart was transported to the hospital. Baltimore County Police officers obtained a search warrant for the residence, based upon observations of the contraband in plain view, and a federal search warrant was subsequently obtained for the property.
Taggart had lived in the basement area of the residence for approximately 15 years, and a detached shed was built on the property in approximately 2010. When the warrants were executed, law enforcement seized 13 firearms, thousands of rounds of various caliber ammunition, and two improvised destructive devices, as well as body armor, armored plates, and ballistic tiles. All of the prohibited items were found in the basement area and in the shed located on the property. Law enforcement also seized several prohibited controlled substances from the living area in the basement. Taggart is prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition, explosive materials, and body armor because he has a prior conviction for a violent felony in Carroll County. Specifically, on February 14, 1996, Taggart was convicted of attempted robbery with a deadly weapon; wear/carry of a handgun; and possession of a pipe bomb in Carroll County Circuit Court.
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. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Duey and Judson T. Mihok, who prosecuted the case.