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Justice News

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Three Indicted in Worcester Armory Theft

BOSTON – Three individuals previously charged by complaint in connection with the theft of handguns and machineguns from the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester, Mass. were indicted today by a federal grand jury.

James W. Morales, 34, of Cambridge, was indicted for being a felon in possession of firearms, possession of a machinegun, possession of stolen weapons, theft of government property, and conspiracy to possess stolen weapons.  Tyrone James, 28, and Ashley Bigsbee, 26, both of Dorchester, were indicted for possession of stolen weapons, conspiracy to possess stolen weapons, and making false statements to federal agents.  James was also indicted on being a felon in possession of firearms.

According to court documents it is alleged that, on Nov.14, 2015, Morales broke into the weapons vault at a U.S. Army Reserve Facility in Worcester, Mass. and stole six M-4 rifles and 10  Sig Sauer M11 9mm pistols.  The rifles, which are capable of firing three round bursts, are machine guns under federal law.  At the time of the robbery, Morales was wearing a state court mandated GPS device as a condition of his release on charges, including child rape, which are currently pending in Middlesex Superior Court.   

According to court documents, DNA evidence left at the scene of the robbery and information from the GPS device allegedly placed Morales at the scene of the robbery.  On Nov. 18, Morales was arrested in New York and found in possession of four of the stolen M-4 machineguns and two of the stolen M-11 handguns. 

Subsequently the investigation began to focus on events that occurred on Page Street in Dorchester following the robbery.  Electronic evidence, including evidence recovered from mobile phones belonging to James and Bigsbee, revealed that they had possessed the stolen weapons and negotiated to sell them.  James and Bigsbee were both interviewed by federal agents and allegedly made false statements about their involvement with the stolen firearms.  To date, all six of stolen the M-4 machineguns have been recovered and four of the ten M-11 handguns have been recovered.

The charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a machinegun, and possession of stolen weapons provide for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.  The charges of conspiracy to possess stolen weapons and making false statements to federal agents provide for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 on each count.  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

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 D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Chief Gary Gemme of the Worcester Police Department; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department; and Commissioner Robert C. Haas of the Cambridge Police Department 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.

Updated February 4, 2016