Former National Guardsman from Norfolk sentenced to more than 4 years for unlawful possession of firearms while using LSD

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A former National Guardsman who was living in Norfolk has been sentenced in federal court Monday for unlawfully possessing firearms while also using illegal substances.

Francis Harker, 22, was handed four years and nine months in prison for charges dating as far back as June 2020.

Harker falsely stated he was not an unlawful user of any controlled substances in order to purchase a semi-automatic rifle on June 3, 2020, “when in fact, he used illegal drugs, including LSD,” a press release from the Eastern District of Virginia said.

According to the release, that same day Harker discussed “interrupting an unjust stop” by trapping law enforcement at a shopping mall in Virginia Beach.

The following year, he purchased a handgun and made the same false statement.

Harker entered a plea deal on Jan. 10, 2022, for unlawful possession of firearms while also using illegal substances. He was not sentenced for charges related to online extremism and white supremacy.

In a court-authorized search of Harker’s home in November 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation found firearms, illegal drugs and approximately 100 blank COVID-19 vaccination cards.

“Harker, who was a member of the National Guard, took the cards from the National Guard and mailed them to associates across the country,” the release said.

Statements supporting violence toward law enforcement, extremism and white supremacy were also found on Harker’s electronic devices and social media accounts. Upon searching Harker’s vehicle, officers found a backpack with components for several Molotov cocktails in the trunk.

Harker’s attorney, Keith Kimball of the Office of the Federal Public Defender, declined to comment on the case.

Caitlyn Burchett, 727-267-6059, caitlyn.burchett@virginiamedia.com