HAGERSTOWN — Avoiding the three-year prison term recommended by prosecutors, a Montgomery County man was sentenced Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to 30 days in jail on gun charges.
Jeffrey Hanan, 48, of Gaithersburg pleaded guilty to making a false statement on an application to purchase a firearm and to having a loaded handgun in a vehicle.
The false statement charge was prosecuted by Maryland Assistant Attorney General Clarence Goetz, while Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson prosecuted the charge of having an illegal handgun in a vehicle.
Hanan failed to disclose in an affidavit filed on Aug. 20, 2010, for a handgun purchase that he had been convicted of a crime of violence, which was a second-degree assault conviction, Goetz told Judge Donald E. Beachley.
On July 8, 2010, Hanan was in a vehicle in the parking lot of Cancun Cantina that drew the suspicion of security personnel and Hagerstown police for possible drug offenses, the statement of probable cause said. Hanan was familiar to the security personnel, who told police he was known to carry a gun, the charging documents said.
Police stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation after it left the parking lot, and a search turned up a loaded pistol in the center console, the documents said. Hanan told officers he had a concealed-carry permit, but it expired, the documents said.
Defense attorney Kelly Cromer told Beachley the assault conviction involved a fight with a girlfriend. As a gun collector, Hanan had filled out the affidavit many times, "but didn't make the connect in his head that (the assault) was considered a violent crime," she said.
Cromer said Hanan was an ordained bishop of the Church of God and businessman with a number of medical ailments. She asked Beachley to consider probation before judgment or a suspended sentence.
"I don't defy the law on purpose," Hanan told Beachley.
"Three years sounds to me to be pretty strict," Beachley said of the state's recommended sentence. He called Hanan's actions "stupid" and "grossly negligent" and sentenced him to three years in state prison, suspending all but 30 days and fining him $500.
Hanan will be on probation for three years after his release and will not be allowed to possess firearms, Beachley said.
In exchange for the plea, charges of possession of a concealed weapon, perjury on an affidavit and illegal possession of a regulated firearm were dismissed.