Developing: Police Raid Gun Store Where Lanza’s Mother Purchased Guns

Via The Hartfold Current:

EAST WINDSOR—

A gun shop on Prospect Hill Road was raided by federal agents Thursday.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, assisted by East Windsor police, raided Riverview Sales at 4 Prospect Hill Road. It was not clear why the raid took place on Thursday, but officials said it was not prompted by any single incident.

“ATF is currently involved in an enforcement operation in the East Windsor area,” said ATF spokeswoman Debora A. Seifert, adding she could not provide additional details.

The raid comes less than a week after 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 adults with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle in Newtown.

On Saturday, a South Windsor man — who had received a suspended prison sentence and two years probation in May for stealing a dozen rifles and shotguns from Riverview Sales — tried to steal a sniper rifle from the same store, police said.

Jordan Marsh, 26, pleaded guilty May 10 to a single count of stealing a firearm and received a suspended prison sentence and two years of probation. He initially faced 12 counts of stealing a firearm and other larceny charges.

According to East Windsor police, on Saturday, Marsh grabbed a Bushmaster .50-caliber rifle from Riverview Sales valued at $5,000 and ran from the store. When store employees confronted Marsh, he pulled a knife, then fled on foot. Police officers eventually caught and arrested him.

During his arraignment on the new charges Monday in Superior Court in Enfield, his bail was set at $2 million and a mental health watch was ordered. His case was also transferred to Superior Court in Hartford, where more serious cases are handled. The new charges are first-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, stealing a firearm and carrying a dangerous weapon.

A police report on Saturday’s incident offered no explanation for Marsh’s alleged conduct, but in his earlier case he told officers he was trying to establish a gun collection.

He told police he would go to Riverview Sales and steal rifles. First, he told officers, he’d decide on a gun to take, grab ammunition to go with it, then grab the firearm and walk out of the store. He said he frequented the store on days he knew it would be busy and that store staff would be occupied and not watching him.

“I selected the business to steal the rifles because it was so easy to walk out of the business with a rifle and ammunition and not be stopped or questioned,” Marsh wrote in a statement, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

He was caught in the first case after a customer watched him carry a box of ammunition and a rifle out of the store without paying. The man thought it was odd, wrote down Marsh’s license plate number, then told the store owner.

East Windsor police found Marsh at his home in South Windsor. He admitted to stealing the rifles and shotguns, as well as other thefts at the Sears, Lowe’s and Bob’s stores in Manchester and two grocery stores.

In his first case, Marsh was initially found to be incompetent to stand trial and was sent to a state mental hospital. He was treated and later found to be competent to stand trial.

“He said he only took what he needed so it was not that bad of a thing to do,” according to a warrant. “Jordan Marsh wanted to include in his statement that he only took these items to save money and he thinks his brain injury makes him do ‘crazy things’ without fearing the repercussions.”

In June 2007 a Somers man who occasionally worked at Riverview Sales was charged with stealing 33 guns from the business.

In that case the store’s owner, David E. Laguercia, contacted ATF after determining his store could not account for 33 firearms. Video surveillance showed the man taking two guns.

In March 2008 that man pleaded no contest to two counts of stealing a firearm and received an 18-month suspended prison sentence.

 

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