Johnson City man arrested after loaded pistols, two machine guns, 900 rounds found during traffic stop

Becky Campbell • Updated Oct 2, 2017 at 5:15 PM

As the country was still reeling from the deadliest shooting attack in U.S. history, Washington County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man on a traffic stop, then found a cache of weapons — including what officials called two machine guns — and ammunition in his car.

Sheriff Ed Graybeal said officers spotted a vehicle traveling 55 mph in a 30 mph zone on Old Jonesborough Highway around 4 a.m. Monday. The officer turned on his cruiser’s lights and siren to make the stop, but initially the vehicle sped up. About a half-mile from the initial stop attempt, and after speeding up to 80 mph, the car pulled over.

Scott A. Edmisten, 43, 1915 Clearwood Drive, Johnson City, was arrested because his license was suspended for failure to appear in court on an unrelated matter. After officers took Edmisten into custody, they found the weapons: a loaded .357-caliber Magnum, a loaded .45-caliber semi automatic, a .223-caliber fully automatic AR rifle, a .308-caliber fully automatic AR rifle, more than 900 rounds of ammunition and survival equipment.

Edmisten was charged with speeding, felony evading arrest and possession of prohibited weapons. Neither of the automatic weapons were registered, and there were no serial numbers on them, the sheriff reported.

“The guns, he had made them fully automatic himself,” Graybeal said, adding that the AR 15’s receivers had been replaced to convert the weapon. “If you know what you’re doing, you can get the parts and do that.”

At the Washington County Detention Center, Graybeal said Edmisten made threats toward the arresting officer and other staff and lunged toward investigators who were trying to question him. Because of Edmisten’s aggressive behavior, Graybeal said officers asked for a bond hearing before Edmisten could post bail.

Investigators contacted the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives because of the unregistered fully automatic guns, Graybeal said.

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