The two Iowa men accused of plotting a massacre at the Pokemon Worlds Championship in August pleaded not guilty Tuesday gun charges.
Kevin Norton, 19, of Ames, Iowa and James Stumbo, 27, of Boone, Iowa, were each held on $150,000 bail at Suffolk County Superior Court. The bail was double what the Commonwealth asked for. The men are charged with possession of a shotgun with no license, possession of riffle, unlawful possession of a high capacity magazine, possesion of over 300 round of ammo and a feeding device.
Neither men have a criminal record.
Stumbo’s attorney told the Magistrate Gary Wilson that he intends to file a motion to dismiss the charges against Stumbo, saying his client was not in control of the car and was not in possession of any of the guns or ammo at the time of his arrest.
But a Facebook post from Stumbo’s account suggested that he was well aware of the weapons in the car.
Authorities said Stumbo and Norton were detained after they reportedly made threatening social media posts, including a photo from Stumbo’s Facebook account of Norton’s 2002 Chevy Prizm with a NRA sticker on the trunk, where an AR-15 and a 12 gauge shotgun lay across each other in an “X” shape. The caption read: “Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come!!!” In the comments section under the picture, a friend wished them luck. Norton replied, “With killing the competition?”
Other alleged threats include references to “Columbine pt. 2,” “another Boston Massacre,” the “Boston bombing” and other alarming quotes from a chatroom conversation. In one instance, Stumbo allegedly wrote “My AR-15 says ‘you lose.’”
The two men were stopped before they could enter the convention center. Norton is said to have brought authorities to his car, which was towed to the Boston Police Station. Officers searched the car after obtaining a warrant and found the arsenal of weapons, according to the prosecution.
Federal Authorities executed search warrants in Iowa at Stumbo’s mother’s house and at the pair's apartment. At the house in Boone, authorities said they found a 12-gauge shotgun shell and AR-15 casings. At the apartment in Ames, authorities said they found the cardboard shipping box from the AR-15. They had no FID cards or licenses in Iowa or Massachusetts for the weapons, prosecutors said.
Investigators said that they found paperwork for the AR-15 in the car with Stumbo’s name on it. The weapons were traced back to a sale in Altoona, Iowa on July 29 and 30th to both men.
A representative at the Bass Pro Shop in Altoona would not comment on how much each weapon costs and what the procedure to buy either is like if the customer does not have a license or an FID card.
The prosecution cited the ease which the two were able to acquire guns without a license or an FID card plus their out-of-state residence as reason for them to be held on $75,000 cash bail and wear GPS monitoring systems should they post bail and not be allowed to leave Massachusetts.
The Magistrate rejected the GPS monitor suggestion because they would not work outside of Massachusetts.
“I see this case as a very serious matter,” Wilson said. “Bail has to be higher than the Commonwealth recommended. If they go back to Iowa, they could buy guns anywhere away from New England and the East Coast. They couldn’t stop them from buying guns around the corner, in Idaho or Iowa, a Walmart in Nebraska or a Bass Pro Shop. They could buy guns anywhere.”
The pair will appear in court again on November 19.