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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Holliston Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Possession of Ammunition

Defendant threatened to kill members of law enforcement and burn a mosque

BOSTON – A Holliston man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to unlawful possession of ammunition after a substantial weapons trove was uncovered during a search of his home. 

Joseph Gargiulo, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for Oct. 12, 2017.  Gargiulo was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition due to an active restraining order issued against him in Wrentham District Court.

On July 27, 2016, federal agents received information that Gargiulo had acquired parts to make an AR-15 rifle and was stockpiling other weapons, including tasers, mace guns, hunting knives and incendiary chemicals. Around the same time, Gargiulo stated that he “will plant bombs in police stations…and kill as many homeland security officers as he can before they kill him.” Further investigation revealed that Gargiulo had stated that he wanted to attack a mosque and/or kill President Obama. Gargiulo said he wanted to “chain a mosque closed and burn it down,” but he never mentioned a specific mosque or time for such an attack.

A search of Gargiulo’s residence resulted in the seizure of parts needed to assemble an AR-15 rifle, over 250 rounds of ammunition for the AR-15 rifle, over 100 rounds of nine millimeter ammunition, chemicals that could be combined to create incendiary or explosive compounds, and hand written notes threatening violence against members of the Islamic faith.

The charge of unlawful possession of ammunition provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Holliston Police Chief Matthew Stone; and Medway Police Chief Allen M. Tingley, made the announcement today.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Grady of Weinreb’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.

Firearms Offenses
Updated July 12, 2017