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Jonesborough man charged in weapons case opts out of bond hearing

Becky Campbell • Updated Nov 6, 2017 at 6:17 PM

GREENEVILLE — A Jonesborough man accused of illegally modifying weapons police said were found during a traffic stop last month won’t seek bond on federal charges related to the incident.

Scott Edmisten, 43, appeared in U.S. District Court in Greeneville Monday for a detention hearing, but his court-appointed attorney, David Leonard, told Magistrate Cliff Corker his client wouldn’t seek bond at this time.

As the case proceeds, Edmisten could have his attorney file a motion asking for bond, but for now he’ll be held on the charges.

Corker scheduled the case for a trial in January.

Edmisten was arraigned last week on three counts of possession of a firearm not registered with the National Firearms and Transfer Record, one count of making firearms in violation of that same law and one count of possession of firearms without serial numbers.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury Oct. 11 and faces similar charges in state court that stem from the same traffic stop.

According to court records, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies stopped him for speeding on Oct. 2 and found multiple handguns, rifles and 900 rounds of ammunition in his car. The rifles were allegedly modified for automatic fire, which are illegal to possess without proper federal permits.

Local, state and federal law enforcement searched Edmisten’s home the following day and allegedly found more weapons and ammunition. Investigators initially thought there could be explosives in the basement, which is where Edmisten lived while his mother lived upstairs, but none were found, Sheriff Ed Graybeal said after that search.

District Attorney General Tony Clark said Edmisten was already under investigation by authorities prior to his arrest after sending concerning letters to at least two Washington County judges and a Johnson City Juvenile Court judge.

The letters have not been released, but prosecutors said the writings contained language that could be considered threatening.

Edmisten has a $50,000 bond on the state charges, but until — and if — a federal bond is set, he will remain in custody at the Washington County Detention Center.

His trial is scheduled for Jan.10-11 in Greeneville.

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