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Massachusetts State Police arrest man, seize home-assembled assault rifles, destructive devices

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Today (Friday, July 26, 2019), the Massachusetts State Police Division of Homeland Security and Preparedness, with the assistance of Wrentham Police, other MSP units, and numerous other partner agencies, executed a search warrant at a Wrentham home that led to the seizure of several assault rifles and a handgun, numerous high-capacity magazines, ammunition, bump stocks and other gun parts, and homemade explosive devices.

State Police Special Tactical Operations Team Troopers served the search warrant at the residence at 5 May Street this morning. Troopers arrested the home’s occupant, MICHAEL R. ROBY, 38, and transported him to State Police-Foxboro, where he was booked on numerous criminal offenses. He will be arraigned this afternoon in Wrentham District Court.

Among the items seized from ROBY’s home were the following:

• Two AR-15 style rifles, stored in an unsecured manner in a bedroom, one of which was loaded with a high-capacity magazine;
• Three additional AR-15 style rifles located in a safe in a bedroom;
• A Glock pistol, stored unsecured in a bedroom nightstand and loaded with a high-capacity magazine;
• An additional high-capacity 9mm magazine located in the nightstand;
• 19 high-capacity rifle magazines;
• Assorted ammunition;
• Two firearms silencers;
• Two Glock selector switches;
• Five homemade destructive devices; and
• Commercial grade fireworks.

Troopers from the MSP Division of Homeland Security determined that ROBY has never possessed either a license to carry a firearm or a Firearm Identification Card. Evidence developed in the investigation suggests that ROBY was purchasing components and assembling the weapons in his home.

None of the weapons had serial numbers. The Glock selector switches are considered to be bump stocks – devices that allow a weapon to convert to automatic firing mode – and are prohibited by law. The commercial grade fireworks are of the type and style that could be used in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices. The homemade destructive devices were secured by the State Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit, who will render them safe.

ROBY is charged with the following offenses:

• Possession of a Machine Gun (multiple counts);
• Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (multiple counts);
• Possession of a Large Capacity Weapon or Feeding Device (multiple counts);
• Unlawful Possession of Ammunition;
• Using or Possessing a Silencer (multiple counts);
• Production, Possession, Transportation or Use of Explosives or a Destructive Device (multiple counts); and
• Unlawful Possession of Fireworks.

“This investigation and warrant execution was a shining example of a multi-agency partnership, and one that removed an arsenal of home-assembled high-capacity weapons from a defendant who was not authorized by law to make or possess them,” said Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police.

Wrentham Police Chief William McGrath added: “Today’s joint operation is a great example of what can be accomplished when Federal, State and local agencies like Wrentham Police work together. Quick and clear sharing of information between all agencies resulted in a successful operation with no injuries to police, civilians or the suspect. Wrentham Police are pleased we were able to assist with resolving a potentially dangerous situation.”

The search warrant resulted from an investigation involving, in addition to Massachusetts State Police and Wrentham Police, the following agencies: US Homeland Security Investigations, US Customs and Border Protection, US Postal Inspection Service, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office will prosecute the case.

“The US Postal Inspection Service is committed to keeping the US Mail, its employees, and customers safe,” said Inspector in Charge Joseph W. Cronin of the US Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Division. “When the U.S. Mail is used to transport dangerous and illegal items, it is taken very seriously. The arrest of this individual is a result of a coordinated investigation with our federal, state and local partners. The cooperation and hard work of our fellow law enforcement agencies illustrates the common mission of protecting our community and keeping the American public safe. The US Postal Inspection Service will continue to investigate and bring criminals to justice to ensure the public’s trust in the U.S. Mail.”

Added Jennifer De La O, Director of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Boston Field Office: “Working together with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners is crucial in combating illegal trafficking,” said. “This arrest is the result of close collaboration and tireless work by multiple agencies.”

MSP sections and units that assisted in the investigation and search warrant execution were the Incident Management Assistance Team, Special Tactical Operations Team, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit, Norfolk County State Police Detective Unit, Attorney General’s State Police Detective Unit, Crime Scene Services Section, Ballistics Section, State Police Troop H Headquarters, and State Police-Foxboro.

Please attribute below photo to Massachusetts State Police.

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