Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Defense worker pleads guilty to bringing loaded gun onto MacDill

TAMPA — A former Army Ranger who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder pleaded guilty on Monday to a charge that he tried to bring a loaded handgun and 300 rounds of ammunition onto MacDill Air Force Base last summer.

In a plea agreement, prosecutors are recommending to a federal judge that Scott Harkenreader, 49, be sentenced to a year of supervised release, surrender the gun, undergo psychiatric care and not return to MacDill.

Harkenreader, who worked on the base as a civilian employee of the Department of Defense, is scheduled to be sentenced March 29.

A judge is not obligated to follow the recommendation. The charge is a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum sentence of no more than one year in prison.

Harkenreader's attorney, Paul Sisco, told a judge at a hearing in U.S. District Court that the defense was ready to take the case to trial and thought he might have a good case to present to jurors. For one thing, Sisco said, MacDill warnings about what items are prohibited onto the base are unclear and "vague."

Sisco also noted that his client suffers from PTSD, though Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli said he was competent to stand trial.

A MacDill spokeswoman did not return a message seeking comment.

"He would have chosen to try the case if the government recommended even an hour of jail time," Sisco told Porcelli.

The judge said he was inclined to follow the government's recommendation of a year's supervised release, but first wants to see a presentencing report.

Harkenreader, a veteran of Grenada and other U.S. military campaigns, and his attorney declined to comment after the plea hearing.

Harkenreader has been on unpaid and indefinite suspension with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Harkenreader, who retired from the Army in 2003 after 20 years of service, told Porcelli he was anxious to resolve his case so he can again get back his security clearance.

"I'd like to get my clearance back and return to work in some other place," he said.

Prosecutors said MacDill security personnel had been issued an alert to be on the lookout for Harkenreader after they received a report that he was bringing a weapon onto the base. He was stopped on Aug. 1 when trying to enter MacDill.

Prosecutors said a gun was found within Harkenreader's reach, and the ammunition was discovered in a storage compartment of his pickup.

Harkenreader had a license to carry a concealed gun and had been trained in its use, but such licenses are not valid on military property without prior consent.

Reach William R. Levesque at levesque@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3432.

Defense worker pleads guilty to bringing loaded gun onto MacDill 02/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, February 27, 2012 11:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  2. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  3. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  4. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …

  5. Photo gallery: 20 mugshots of pro athletes arrested in Florida - 1994 to 2017

    News

    In light of today's arrest of Tiger Woods in Jupiter, Florida on DUI charges, here are 20 booking mugs of professional athletes who have been arrested in Florida, from 1994 (Jennifer …

    Desmond Bryant - 2005 - Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami on charges of criminal mischief after allegedly "going to a neighbor's house inebriated and causing a commotion."