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Justice News

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Second Arrest Made in Worcester Armory Theft Case

BOSTON – A Dorchester woman was arrested late Friday afternoon for being in possession of an M-4 assault rifle that was stolen from a Worcester armory on Nov. 14, 2015, and for making false statements to federal agents.

Ashley Bigsbee, 26, has been charged with one count of unlawful possession of a machine gun and one count of false statements.  Bigsbee was arrested on an outstanding state warrant on Nov. 20, 2015.  According to the affidavit, at the time of her arrest on the state warrant, agents recovered her cell phone.  A subsequent search of the phone pursuant to a search warrant revealed numerous photographs, including a photograph of Bigsbee with a distinctive hand tattoo, a photograph of what appears to be a stolen Sig Sauer handgun and an M-4 assault rifle.  Prior to her arrest on Nov. 20, Bigsbee voluntarily spoke with FBI agents and denied knowing anything about a robbery of the armory and the guns Morales was allegedly trying to sell.  She denied any knowledge of the stolen weapons.

According to the affidavit, further investigation revealed that the photographs were taken at 27 Page Street in Dorchester.  A search warrant was executed at this location on Nov. 20 where agents observed distinctive items seen in the photographs.  However, no weapons were recovered from this location. 

In a related development, the final stolen M-4 was recovered by law enforcement agents in Dorchester on the afternoon of Nov. 27. 

Bigsbee had an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in Worcester before Magistrate Judge David Hennessey.  She will remain in U.S. Marshal custody until her detention hearing scheduled for Dec. 3. 

The maximum sentence under the firearms statute is 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  The false statement charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

On Nov. 19, 2015, James Morales was arrested and charged in connection with the theft of 16 weapons from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester, Mass.  He was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a machine gun, one count of unlawful possession of stolen firearms and one count of theft of government property.  Morales remains in U.S. Marshal custody.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Daniel Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Chief Gary Gemme of the Worcester Police Department; and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans made the announcement today.   

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Grady and Cory Flashner of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law.

Updated February 4, 2016