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Newmarket man pleads guilty to weapons charges, graffiti

BRENTWOOD — A Newmarket man admitted to being in possession of firearms despite being a convicted felon and vandalizing town and state road signs with racist and homophobic graffiti.

Brian Croall, 45, pleaded guilty on Monday to five counts of felon in possession of a weapon and misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and possession of marijuana as part of a negotiated plea agreement with county prosecutors.

A Rockingham County Superior Court judge will ultimately decide on Croall’s sentence on May 8.

The agreement will not allow the judge to consider more than a 2- to 4-year prison term, according to terms of the deal.

Prosecutors agreed to drop another 29 counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon as part of the agreement.

Croall could have faced up to 3½ to 7 years in state prison on each of the weapons charges.

Police said some of the graffiti included derogatory terms toward African-Americans, Hispanics, gays and the elderly. Police were investigating the graffiti and some of the messages around town when they obtained a search warrant for Croall’s apartment last July 23.

Newmarket police found roughly 39 firearms in the residence 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.

He fired a .25-caliber handgun into the air outside of the Chop Shop restaurant on the night of Nov. 20, 2011 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.

Croall is currently being held at the Rockingham County jail.


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