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Johnson City man arraigned on federal weapons charges

Johnson City Press • Updated Nov 2, 2017 at 8:21 PM

GREENEVILLE — A Johnson City man reportedly found by police last month with illegally modified rifles and 900 rounds of ammunition in his car was arraigned Thursday morning on federal weapons charges in U.S. District Court.

Scott Edmisten, 43, 1915 Clearwood Drive, appeared with his court-appointed attorney, David Leonard, before U.S. Magistrate Cliff Corker and pleaded not guilty to charges of three counts of possession of a firearm not registered with the National Firearms and Transfer Record, one count of making firearms in violation of that same law and one count of possession of firearms without serial numbers.

Edmisten was indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 11, while his state case involving similar charges was progressing through Washington County General Sessions Court.

After asking Edmisten some preliminary questions to ensure he understood the judge, Corker read the indictment aloud in the courtroom. Edmisten’s attorney entered a “not guilty” plea to all counts.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Bowman told Corker the government would ask for Edmisten to be held without bond.

“Based on the defendant’s history and based on the circumstances of the offense, we submit he is a danger,” Bowman said.

Leonard asked the judge for a detention hearing, which was set for Monday morning.

The federal case stems from the same incident in which Edmisten faces multiple state weapons charges.

According to court records, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies stopped him for speeding on Oct. 2 and found multiple handguns, rifles and 900 rounds of ammunition in his car. The rifles were allegedly modified for automatic fire, which are illegal to possess without proper federal permits.

Local, state and federal law enforcement searched Edmisten’s home the following day and allegedly found more weapons and ammunition. Investigators initially thought there could be explosives in the basement, which is where Edmisten lived while his mother lived upstairs, but none were found, Sheriff Ed Graybeal said after that search.

District Attorney General Tony Clark said Edmisten was already under investigation by authorities prior to his arrest after sending concerning letters to at least two Washington County judges and a Johnson City juvenile court judge.

The letters have not been released, but prosecutors said the writings contained language that could be considered threatening.

Edmisten has a $50,000 bond on the state charges, but until — and if — a federal bond is set, he will remain in custody at the Washington County Detention Center.

His state charges are on hold while the federal case proceeds.

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Reported earlier:

A Johnson City man reportedly found by police last month with illegally modified rifles and 900 rounds of ammunition in his car was arraigned Thursday morning on federal weapons charges in U.S. District Court in Greeneville.

Scott Edmisten, 43, 1915 Clearwood Drive, appeared with his attorney, David Leonard, before Judge Cliff Corker and pleaded not guilty to charges of three counts of possession of a firearm not registered with the National Firearms and Transfer Record, one count of making firearms in violation of that same law and one count of possession of firearms without serial numbers.

Edmisten was indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 11, while his state case involving similar charges was progressing through Washington County General Sessions Court.

According to court records, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies stopped him for speeding on Oct. 2 and found multiple handguns, rifles and 900 rounds of ammunition in his car. The rifles were allegedly modified for automatic fire, which are illegal to possess without proper federal permits.

Local, state and federal law enforcement searched Edmisten’s home the following day and allegedly found more weapons and ammunition. Investigators initially thought there could be explosives in the basement, which is where Edmisten lived while his mother lived upstairs, but none were found, Sheriff Ed Graybeal said after that search.

District Attorney General Tony Clark said Edmisten was already under investigation by authorities prior to his arrest after sending concerning letters to three Washington County judges.

Judge Corker did not consider Edmisten’s bail Thursday, and will preside over a detention hearing for him Monday at 9 a.m. in Greeneville.

 

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