Park Hung Quan, the roommate of accused Capital One hacker Paige Adele Thompson, was arrested on the same day due to FBI agents finding an illegal “cache of firearms” in his bedroom.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, FBI agents found assault weapons, bump stocks, and fake grenades in Quan’s room when they executed a search warrant of the Seattle house on July 29, 2019. Quan, 66, is a convicted felon and is not permitted to own firearms. In 1983, he was convicted in connection to a murder-for-hire plot.
An important detail that stands out in the court record is that Quan’s roommates, including Thompson, had easy access to the weapons. A court document filed in Quan’s case identifies Thompson as “Person 1,” who had been the subject of the search warrant on July 29. The criminal complaint further details that the search warrant was granted “in relation to the investigation of the network intrusion,” meaning the Capital One hack.
The court record states that “Person 1” had “threatened to ‘shoot up’ the office of a California social media company” in May of 2019 and “had made express threats to harm others and herself.” The police report detailing this threat was sealed to the public, according to the court document.
Federal inmate records show that Quan remains behind bars in a detention facility in Seattle. He is charged with “Felon in Possession of a Firearm.”
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Prosecutors: Park Quan Left His Weapons Accessible To His Roommates Even Though He Knew That Paige Thompson Had Threatened Both a Mass Shooting & Suicide-By-Cop
In federal court documents filed in the Western District of Washington, prosecutors argued against granting Park Quan bail, arguing that he posed a danger to the community and was a flight risk. Part of the argument laid out by prosecutors was the fact that Quan left his weapons unsecured and that any of his roommates could have accessed them.
The “motion for detention” document, embedded above, does not mention software engineer Paige Adele Thompson by name. (She is the suspect accused of hacking Capital One’s servers and stealing the personal data of more than 100 million Americans). But the document does state that FBI agents were executing a search warrant at the Seattle home to investigate the conduct of “Person 1.”
Prosecutors state in the document that “Person 1,” Thompson, had made threats to commit a mass shooting at a social media company in May of 2019. The document does not include a company name. It adds that Thompson had also threatened to harm herself. The document reads:
“The danger posed to the community cannot be underestimated. Of note, Quan left his weapons unsecured, accessible to others. And he did so even though he was aware that his housemate, Person 1, suffered from mental health issues, and that Person 1 had threatened to commit suicide-by-cop and a mass shooting at a corporate campus. Quan’s reckless indifference placed countless people and the community at risk.”
2. Park Quan Admitted to Illegally Owning Weapons
Park Hung Quan kept a large collection of weapons and other supplies in his bedroom, according to court documents. FBI agents confiscated weapons that included more than a dozen firearms included several assault rifles, a sniper rifle, and handguns. Agents said some of the guns were loaded.
Agents also found bump stocks, two flare launchers, high-capacity magazines, a large cache of ammunition, replica grenades, chemical precursors and explosive powder.
The court document states that Quan admitted to the FBI agents that the weapons belonged to him. “He further acknowledged that he knew it was illegal for him to possess such items based on his prior felony convictions. Quan also stated that he had acquired the bump stocks before they became illegal (thereby implicitly confessing knowledge of his illegal possession).” Bump stocks were banned following the Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1, 2017.
3. Park Quan Referenced Mixing Explosive Chemicals Inside the House
In addition to the weapons arsenal, FBI agents also found chemical precursors and explosive powder in Park Quan’s bedroom. According to the court documents, Quan talked about these items with his roommates.
Quan and his four roommates, including Paige Thompson were “temporarily restrained outside the residence” while FBI agents searched the home on July 29. “FBI agents heard Quan say that he had not yet gotten the chance to mix the precursors for ‘RDX,’ prompting one of the housemates to say, ‘shhhhh, shut up.’ Shortly thereafter, Quan said that he should have moved the acetone, prompting the same housemate to say, ‘Shut up, man.’
As prosecutors explained in the court record, RDX is an explosive chemical compound and acetone is a chemical precursor.
4. Park Hung Quan Has Been Convicted of At Least Three Felonies & Was Involved in a Murder-For-Hire Plot in 1983
Park Hung Quan has been known to law enforcement as a convicted felon for a long time. Prosecutors explain in the court documents that Quan was a member of the military during the 1970s. He was convicted by court-martial in the early 1970s for “soliciting the theft of military weapons and attempting to steal military weapons.” Quan was sentenced to five years behind bars at Fort Leavenworth.
In 1983, Quan was convicted again. This time, he was involved in a plot to murder a Seattle man. Prosecutors say that Quan and his co-conspirators were paid to strap a bomb to the target’s truck. The bomb malfunctioned and the target escaped with his life. A screenshot of a Seattle Times article included in the court document states that at the time of the crime, Quan had been working at a grocery store.
Quan agreed to cooperate with investigators against the other suspects involved. As part of his plea deal, Quan was not convicted of attempted murder. Instead, he only had to plead guilty to “Felon in Possession of Explosives.” Quan was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
But Quan was released early. He promptly got in trouble again. In 1991, he was convicted for “Unlawful Possession of Unregistered Firearm (Machine Gun and Silencers)” in the Southern District of Texas. Quan obtained the weapon shortly after getting out of prison and was on federal supervised release at the time. He was sentenced to an additional 57 months.
5. Park Quan Owns the Seattle House & His Roommates Expressed Surprise When He Was Arrested
Park Hung Quan owns the Seattle home that FBI agents raided on July 29, 2019. According to the criminal complaint, Quan and four other roommates lived in the “modest” three-bedroom house.
Prosecutors urged against granting Quan bail, arguing that he posed a danger to the community and a flight risk. They wrote in the motion, “Quan not only has demonstrated the willingness to kill others, but he had assembled the arsenal to do so.” On the issue of being a flight risk, prosecutors wrote, “He has demonstrated no ability to abide by the law, and offered no sound rationale why court-imposed conditions would fair differently.”
Prosecutors also pointed out that Quan would have nowhere to go if released from custody because his roommates were all witnesses in the criminal case.
Quan’s roommates told the Seattle Times that they had not been aware of Quan’s record as a convicted felon. They also expressed surprise when he was arrested.