TEXARKANA, Texas – A 25-year-old Tyler, Texas man has been
sentenced to federal prison for firearms violations in the Eastern District of
Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Heon Jong Yoo, a/k/a “Hank Yoo,” was found guilty on Nov. 15, 2018, of seven
counts of false statements made in connection with firearms transactions and
one count of unlawful possession by a prohibited person. Yoo was
sentenced to 97 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Robert W.
Schroeder, III. Yoo was ordered to surrender to immigration officials for
deportation after serving his sentence.
According to information presented in court, Yoo, a lawful permanent resident
from South Korea, was an undergraduate student at the University of
Texas-Tyler, when he falsely represented that he was a United States citizen
with respect to seven different firearms transactions, some of which involved
semiautomatic weapons. He did so after having been involuntarily
committed to a mental institution in the state of New Jersey in 2013 and again
in 2015. At the time of his arrest, Yoo was in possession of multiple
firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories. Yoo was initially
indicted by a federal grand jury on Apr. 18, 2018. A superseding indictment was
returned against him on Sep. 19, 2018.
“Law enforcement most likely saved
lives with the arrest of Hank Yoo,” said United States Attorney Joseph D.
Brown. “At multiple schools were he had attended, administrators had
worried about his increasing threatening behavior. And when you mix
in his history of mental issues and that he was lying to get access to
firearms, the situation could have ended badly.”
“Questions on the ATF Form 4473 are designed to identify prohibitors such as
felony offenses, adjudicated mental illness, or substance abuse," stated
ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II. “Yoo lied on the form, then
compounded the lies by misusing the benefit afforded by a Texas Concealed
Handgun License. His overall, evolving pattern of conduct sounded alarms at
institutions and communities throughout Texas.”
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Texas Department of Public
Safety-Texas Rangers Division; the Smith County Sheriff’s Office; the Tyler
Police Department; and the University of Texas-Tyler Police Department.
Assistance was also provided by the Department of Homeland Security, the Dallas
Police Department, the Plano Police Department, the Prosper Police Department,
the Collin College Police Department, the Dallas County Community College
District Police Department, the Rutgers University Police Department, and the
University of Connecticut Police Department. The case was prosecuted by
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Coan, Lucas Machicek, and Ryan Locker