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Press Release

Pennsylvania Man Arrested For Stalking And Possession Of A Silencer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On February 16, 2024, Michael Charles Hoffpowier, 46, of Middlebury, Pennsylvania, was charged via federal criminal complaint with stalking in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2261A, and Possession of a Silencer in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 5861(d).  The complaint was issued by the Honorable Debra C. Poplin, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee. If convicted, Hoffpowier could face imprisonment of up to 10 years and other penalties.

According to documents filed with the Court, it is alleged that over the course of a few months, Hoffpowier tracked the alleged victim from Pennsylvania, to Texas, and finally to Knoxville, Tennessee.  On February 12, 2024, the victim disclosed to law enforcement that Hoffpowier attempted to contact him/her through his/her employer by using a false name but using his actual phone number.  The victim’s employer contacted Hoffpowier and cancelled his appointment.  Hoffpowier responded by saying, “I’ll see you at 9:00.”  The employer contacted the police.  On February 14, 2024, witnesses watched Hoffpowier drive around the Knox County business.  Knox County Deputies located Hoffpowier in a nearby parking lot minutes later.  Following Miranda warnings, Hoffpowier admitted to making the appointment under a false name to surprise the victim.  With Hoffpowier’s consent, Deputies found text messages on his phone from the victim instructing him to cease contact with him/her.  Deputies arrested Hoffpowier, searched the car he was in, and found two firearms, one with an attached silencer, two sets of binoculars, and a key to the victim’s car.     

U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III of the Eastern District of Tennessee, and ATF Resident Agent in Charge, Keith Jordan, made the announcement.

This prosecution is the result of an ongoing investigation by the ATF and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, with support from the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney Miriam Johnson will represent the United States.

Members of the public are reminded that a complaint constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws.  It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences.  PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community face.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. Contact your local police department to report stalking and stalking-related incidents and/or threats.  Immediate and confidential support is available 24/7 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline by visiting, calling 1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-787-3224), or texting “START” to 88788. You can also call the National Center for Victims of Crime hotline at 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846) or the Strong Hearts Native Helpline at 844-762-8483.



Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated February 16, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods