Massachusetts State Police Car Stop Yields Assault Rifle, Ammo, Magazines
The assault weapon, ammunition and magazines seized by a state trooper this weekend.
MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE PHOTO
A traffic stop early Saturday morning in the Merrimack Valley led to weapons and other charges after a Massachusetts state trooper found a stolen assault rifle and ammunition, as well was other stolen items, in the car.
At 2:55 a.m. Saturday, Trooper Matthew Topping observed a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero on Route 495 southbound in Haverhill after its driver did not dim his high beams despite the presence of traffic coming in the other direction on the northbound side. After stopping the Alero, Trooper Topping questioned the driver, JAMES P. MASSE, 38, of Manchester, N.H., who acknowledged that the did not have a driver's license and could not give the full name of the car's owner.
A subsequent check by Trooper Topping on the mobile data terminal in his cruiser revealed that MASSE's driver's license in Massachusetts had been suspended in 1998.
While conducting a visual inventory of the Alero, Trooper Topping noticed in the backseat a large rectangular case which he recognized as a carrying case for a shotgun or rifle. The case was partially open, and the trooper could see an ammunition box inside. Trooper Topping searched the box and found an AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and three magazines. Specifically, the trooper located two fully-loaded 30-round magazines containing 7.62 X 39mm rounds, a six-round magazine containing five 7.62 X 39mm rounds, 35 additional 7.62 X 39mm rounds, and 50 9mm rounds.
Also observed in the car were a flat-screen television and a black bag containing a Sony Playstation 3 video game unit, three video games and 23 DVDs.
Further investigation by Trooper Topping revealed that the gun and electronics equipment had been reported stolen from a Raymond, N.H., house owned by a member of MASSE's family. MASSE allegedly had recently being house-sitting for that relative while the family attended a wedding.
State Police placed MASSE under arrest on the following charges:
- Possession of a firearm without a firearm identification card;
- Possession of a large capacity firearm;
- Carrying a firearm without a firearm license;
- Possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card;
- Receiving stolen property over $250 (four counts);
- Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license; and
- Failure to dim headlights.
MASSE was booked at the State Police Barracks in Newbury and transferred to the Essex County jail in Middleton to be held prior to arraignment, which was scheduled for today in the Haverhill District Court.
A photo of the assault rifle and ammunition is included. No further information is available at this time.