ST. LOUIS • A St. Louis man once described as an “urban Rambo” with a stockpile of guns, bombs and booby traps for mass attacks on law enforcement pleaded guilty Friday to a single gun charge that is likely to soon see him released from jail.
David Michael Hagler, 54, was facing a machine gun possession charge, two counts of making false statements during the purchase of a gun, one charge of possession of firearms after having been convicted of a domestic assault misdemeanor and one charge of possession of firearms by a marijuana user.
Hagler pleaded guilty to the machine gun charge, admitting that he had a modified Glock 22 pistol that fired at least three rounds with each pull of the trigger, which falls under the federal definition of a machine gun. By the time authorities raided his home in March, the gun had again been modified and fired only a single shot, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ware said at the hearing.
Both sides are recommending a sentence of 366 days in prison, which would enable Hagler to get credit for good behavior while in prison. He has already been behind bars about eight months, defense attorney Matt Radefeld said in court.
Police and the FBI searched Hagler’s two homes in the 1100 block of Howell Street, in the Baden neighborhood near Halls Ferry Circle, on March 26. Two confidential informers were “concerned about his behavior” and approached law enforcement, Ware said.
The informers claimed Hagler had discussed plans to kill police and his ex-wife, and said they had seen assault weapons, a sniper rifle and pipe bombs at his house, court records show. They also said he may have rigged flowerpots on his front porch with explosives and had claimed to have killed someone at his house.
But the raid found no evidence of bombs or booby traps. Radefeld dismissed Hagler’s statements as “just talk” and said that the informers’ claims were overblown in an unsuccessful attempt to get evidence tossed out of court earlier this year.
U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said that the discrepancies were contained within what Hagler was telling others. Callahan said his office had argued that the fact that Hagler’s claims didn’t pan out was not grounds for invalidating any of the evidence that resulted from the March raid.