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Local Navy reserve officer sentenced to prison for gun silencers bought after U.S. Capitol breach

U.S. Capitol surveillance videos captured a man identified by the FBI as Falls Church resident Hatchet Speed entering the building on Jan. 6, 2021 (via U.S. Attorney’s Office)

A local Navy reserve officer has been sentenced to prison for having unregistered gun silencers that he bought after participating in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection.

Hatchet Speed, a 41-year-old Falls Church resident who once worked for a defense contractor in Vienna, was handed a three-year prison sentence by U.S. District Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced Thursday (April 13).

According to prosecutors, Speed bought three silencers from a Georgia company in March 2021 while “panic buying” at least a dozen guns in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

From February to May 2021, Speed purchased at least twelve firearms and spent more than $40,000 at stores that sold firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition. According to court documents, the defendant began stockpiling weapons after participating in the incursion at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, a time when he anticipated civil war and spoke of the need for political violence.

In March 2021, during the midst of his firearm purchases, Speed purchased three silencers from a company in Georgia. While the silencers were marketed as “solvent traps” ostensibly to be used in cleaning the barrel of a firearm, they were actually designed to serve as silencers. The silencers were not registered to Speed in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, as required by law. By circumventing the registration requirements for silencers, Speed was able to take possession of the silencers within a week of purchasing them.

Speed told an undercover FBI agent in early 2022 that he believed the “solvent traps,” or silencers, “would come in handy” for fulfilling his vision of targeting and killing “the opposition,” meaning Jewish people, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A federal grand jury in Alexandria indicted Speed on three counts of possessing unregistered silencers — one for each of the devices — on Sept. 14, 2022 and he was convicted on Jan. 20. He faced a maximum potential sentence of 30 years in prison.

Last month, a federal judge in D.C. convicted Speed for felony obstruction and four misdemeanor crimes related to the Capitol insurrection. Spotted in security footage wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, Speed spent just over 40 minutes wandering the Capitol building halls before exiting through a window, an FBI agent said in a statement of facts.

Speed is scheduled to be sentenced in that case on May 8, according to the Washington Post.

According to the FBI agent’s statement, Speed is a petty first-class officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves assigned to the Naval Warfare Space Field Activity at the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly.

He previously worked a software developer for a defense contractor in Vienna before resigning “as he delved deeper into fringe ideologies,” the Post reported.

Speed isn’t the only Fairfax County resident to face criminal charges related to the Capitol attack. Springfield resident Joseph Brody was charged in September after allegedly assaulting a police officer with a barricade.