Former UT Tyler student sentenced to 97 months on firearms violation charges

Former UT Tyler student sentenced to 97 months on firearms violation charges
Heon Jong Yoo, a/k/a Hank Yoo (Sourct: Smith County Judicial Records)

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A Tyler man has been sentenced to federal prison for firearms violations.

Heon Jong Yoo, also known as Hank Yoo, 25, was sentenced to 97 months in prison. Yoo was found guilty on Nov. 15 of seven counts of false statements made in connection with firearms transactions and one count of unlawful possession by a prohibited person, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown.

“Law enforcement most likely saved lives with the arrest of Hank Yoo,” said United States Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “At multiple schools where 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.”

Yoo had been indicted on the charges by a federal grand jury on April 18, 2018.

According to a press release from Brown’s office, Yoo was an undergraduate student at UT-Tyler and lawful permanent resident from South Korea. It is reported that Yoo falsely represented himself as a U.S. citizen during seven different firearm transactions. Some of these transactions involved the semi-automatic weapons.

Yoo allegedly falsely represented himself again after he had been involuntary committed to a mental institution in New Jersey in 2013 and in 2015.

According to the press release, Yoo was found to be in possession of multiple firearms, ammunition and firearms accessories at the time of his arrest.

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