For Immediate Release - May 15, 2009

Haverhill Man Pleads Not Guilty To Weapons Charges

Keni Garcia, 32, of 10 Westford Street, Haverhill, pleaded not guilty today in Haverhill District Court to illegal possession of ammunition, three counts of possession of a high capacity firearm, and three counts of illegal storage of a firearm

Garcia, who is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, had been scheduled to become a naturalized U.S. citizen today.

Judge Patricia Dowling set bail at $500,000 and continued his case until June 12 for a pre-trial hearing. She also imposed a bail warning, ordered Garcia to surrender his passport, and said that if he makes bail he is not to leave the state of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth was represented at arraignment by Essex Assistant District Attorney Christopher Holland. Garcia was represented by Attorney Socrates de la Cruz.

Garcia was arrested in Haverhill yesterday afternoon as the result of a week-long cooperative investigation that started with the ATF in New Hampshire, and ultimately included the Massachusetts ATF, ICE Special Agents, Plaistow, New Hampshire Police, Haverhill Police, and the Massachusetts State Police Drug Unit assigned to the Office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.

The investigation revealed that Garcia, who had driver's licenses in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, recently displayed a large sum of cash in an effort to purchase 55,000 rounds of ammunition in New Hampshire. Investigators also discovered that Garcia had recently purchased at least 20,000 rounds of ammunition and three high capacity pistols in New Hampshire, using a phony New Hampshire address to do so. He is not licensed to possess any type of firearm in Massachusetts.

From yesterday morning through the early afternoon, police monitored Garcia's movements as he purchased 10,000 rounds of .38 caliber ammunition in New Hampshire, and then traveled to Haverhill with his two small daughters. He was stopped and found to be in possession of the ammunition, was arrested and taken to the Haverhill Police Station.

A subsequent search of the defendant's residence revealed thousands more rounds of ammunition, three unsecured high capacity pistols and $25,000 in cash.