Newmarket man expected to plead guilty to gun chargesBy JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent
January 06. 2014 8:19PM
BRENTWOOD — A Newmarket man convicted of firing a handgun outside of a Seabrook restaurant in 2011 intends to plead guilty to charges that he illegally possessed about 34 firearms at his home.
Brian Croall, 44, has struck a plea deal with county prosecutors that will resolve his pending charges on 34 counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon and a felony drug charge, according to a judge’s order.
He is being held at Rockingham County jail.
Newmarket police charged Croall with weapons and drug charges after searching his home on July 23.
In addition to the guns, Croall had a small amount of the pain killer oxycodone in his apartment, according to prosecutors.
A week prior to that arrest, he was also charged with vandalism for allegedly posing racist and homophobic graffiti on 14 town-owned and state-owned signs around Newmarket, according to police.
Police said some of the graffiti included a swastika, derogatory terms toward African-Americans, Hispanics, gays and the elderly.
Terms of the plead deal on the weapons and drug charges have not been made public, but Croall could face up to 3 ½ to 7 years in prison on each of the felony charges.
Police were investigating the graffiti and some of the messages around town when they obtained a search warrant for Croall’s apartment. Newmarket police found guns in the residence, some of which were loaded, along with more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
Croall was barred from owning firearms in August 2012 after pleading guilty to another gun incident in Seabrook.
On Nov. 20, he is alleged to have fired a 25-caliber handgun into the air outside of the Chop Shop restaurant after complaining that his car radio was stolen and nobody was helping him, prosecutors said.
Croall surrendered his weapon to the state and was ordered to perform 60 hours of community service as part of his negotiated plea deal in that case.
Nobody had actually stolen the car radio from the car Croall was driving that night, according to police. Croall had looked inside the wrong car after leaving the restaurant, police said.