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Massachusetts State Troopers seize illegally possessed firearms and narcotics in joint effort

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At approximately 8:30 p.m. Monday, Massachusetts State Police Troopers assigned to the Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team-West (CINRET), the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit, along with Holyoke Police and numerous other State Police units and arrested two men on illegal firearms and narcotics charges in Holyoke.

The arrests followed an investigation into illegal interstate firearms trafficking. Specifically, MSP CINRET Troopers developed information that the suspects would be bringing multiple long guns into Massachusetts to exchange for cash or heroin and cocaine.

Troopers and officers yesterday evening established surveillance of an area where they believed the suspects would be arriving in a Nissan Xterra sport utility vehicle. in which the men were traveling. Law enforcement officers watched as the Xterra pulled into a parking lot at a Holyoke hotel.

Once Troopers and officers confirmed that the suspects were in possession of weapons, Troopers from the Massachusetts State Police Special Tactical Operations Team converged on the two men and put them into custody.

Arrested were: TIMOTHY KEITH, 32, of White River Junction, Vt., and PHILLIP DAMONE, 33, of Grantham, N.H.

MSP CINRET Troopers determined neither KEITH nor DAMONE possessed a Firearms Identification Card or License to Carry in Massachusetts. They further determined that as a convicted felon KEITH was federally prohibited from possessing or transferring firearms.

KEITH and DAMONE were charged with numerous firearms and ammunition offenses, including multiple counts of possession of large capacity weapons. They were also charged with possession of a Class A narcotic.

Evidence seized pursuant to the arrests included the following firearms and ammunition:

• Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 large capacity rifle;
• Ruger, Archangel 556, 10/22 large capacity rifle;
• Rock River Arms LAR-15 5.56 large capacity rifle;
• Savage Model 93R17 .22 rifle;
• FN Herstal 12 gauge Tactical Police Shotgun 12 Gauge;
• Rossi Circuit Judge 45/ 410 gauge shotgun;
• 10 large capacity feeding devices; and
• Hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
• Also seized from the men were four small packets of a substance believed to be heroin.

Troopers also determined that KEITH is the subject of a 2018 warrant issued out of New Hampshire for failing to appear in court for a drug smuggling related charge.

KEITH and DAMONE were transported to the Holyoke Police Department, where they were booked and held for court.

In addition to CINRET West, the MSP Gang Unit, the MSP STOP Team, and the Holyoke Police Department, other units and officers who provided important assistance were Troopers from the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit for Hampden County, members of the Massachusetts State Police Hampshire/ Franklin Narcotics Task Force, and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The successful outcome was the result of a cooperative effort.

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