Apr 05: Motor Vehicle Stop on Rt. 91 in Whately Leads to Arrest and Seizure of Weapons and Ammunition
Last evening at 11:45 p.m. Trooper Joseph Petty from the Massachusetts State Police Barracks in Northampton stopped a Chevrolet Express Van on Rt. 91 Northbound in the town of Whatley for displaying an expired Pennsylvania registration plate.
The operator of the van TIMOTHY R. HARDING, 33 of Brattleboro, VT informed Trooper Petty he was traveling back to Vermont from Long Island New York where he claimed he had visited with friends and had purchased an Amplifier he had located on Craig’s List.
Throughout his interaction with HARDING, Trooper Petty noticed HARDING was very nervous, sweating and visibly shaking.
Trooper Petty’s investigation confirmed that the vehicle was not properly registered. Trooper Petty called for a tow truck to remove the vehicle from the highway. During an inventory of the contents of the vehicle prior to towing, Trooper Petty discovered a loaded Ruger LC9, 9 millimeter handgun in a back pack on the front passenger seat of the Van.
As a result of a complete inventory of the vehicle Trooper Petty discovered a Cetme Sporter . 308 rifle, and a Lugar model Tec-9 and a 9 millimeter handgun in a duffle bag in the rear compartment of the Van. In addition to the weapons Trooper Petty discovered 159 rounds of ammunition capable of being fired by the weapons discovered in the van.
Trooper Petty’s further investigation revealed that HARDING was not properly licensed to have the weapons and ammunition in his possession. HARDING was arrested and transported to the State Police Barracks in Northampton where he was charged and booked. The Weapons and ammunition discovered were seized and stored as evidence.
HARDING was charged with the following:
- Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
- Unlawful Possession of a large Capacity Firearm
- Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding device
- Possession of Ammunition
- Operating an Unregistered Motor Vehicle
Trooper Petty was assisted on this stop by Lieutenant Robert Swift, Trooper Ali Rei, Trooper Timothy Harrington, and Trooper Elijah Herbert.
HARDING will appear in Greenfield District Court today.
Please do not contact the barracks directly.