Expired Registration Leads to Arrest, Firearm and ‘Ghost Gun’ Seizure in Western Massachusetts
A vehicle's expired registration lead to an arrest and a seizure of two firearms, one of which investigators say is a 'Ghost Gun'.
On Wednesday, November 9, Trooper Corey Boileau and his field training officer Trooper John Ollari were on Pine Street in Holyoke, Massachusetts conducting traffic enforcement. Shortly after 3:30 am, Trooper Boileau randomly ran the license plate of a Mercedes-Benz sedan and found that the vehicle’s registration had expired in April.
Trooper Boileau conducted a stop of the vehicle and after speaking with the operator Trooper Boileau confirmed the registration was indeed expired and called for a tow of the vehicle. Troopers then allowed the operator to call for a ride home for her and her passenger, Juan Rodriguez-Menier, 25, of Holyoke.
After the operator and Rodriguez-Menier stepped out of the vehicle, Troopers conducted a motor vehicle inventory of the Mercedes before the tow arrived. Shortly after starting their inventory, Troopers found a fast-food bag in the passenger footwell, which contained a loaded polymer 9mm handgun with a 17-round magazine inserted into the magazine well. This weapon had no serial number, what is commonly called a “ghost gun” due to the difficulty in tracking its origin. Neither the operator nor Rodriguez-Menier possessed a license to carry a firearm.
Upon finding the ghost gun, Troopers placed the operator and Rodriguez-Menier into handcuffs and transitioned to a thorough search of the Mercedes for additional contraband. During that search, Trooper Boileau located a SCCY 9mm handgun with an 11-round magazine in the vehicle's trunk. While talking to Rodriguez-Menier, it was determined the operator had no knowledge of the illicit weapons and was released from handcuffs.
Rodriguez-Menier was arrested and transported to the Shelburne Falls Barracks for booking. He was arraigned at Holyoke District Court on the following charges:
Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm, two Counts, Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device, two Counts, Possession of Ammunition Without an FID Card, two Counts, and Carrying a Loaded Firearm.
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