The two menarrested in August for allegedly making threats against the Pokemon World Championships in Boston appeared in court today. According to CBS Boston, the men, who police say traveled from Iowa to the event with automatic rifles in their car, pleaded not guilty to weapon charges and were held on $150,000 bail.Stumbo (left) and Norton (right); Image credit: CBS Boston
The men, Kevin Norton and James Stumbo made their pleas in an arraignment on Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court in downtown Boston.
Authorities detained Norton and Stumbo as part of an investigation involving Boston's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes federal agents from the FBI and Homeland Security. The suspects attempted to enter the Hynes Convention Center, the site of the Pokemon World Championships, on Thursday, August 20, but were removed from the premises on a trespass order.
After Norton reportedly made statements to authorities that he had weapons in his car, officers conducted a field interrogation and released them. Police then obtained a search warrant and found in their car a 12-gauge shotgun, one DPM5 AR-15 rifle, "several hundred" rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife.
In the lead up to the Pokemon World Championships, prosecutors claim Stumbo made references to things like "Columbine pt 2," "another Boston massacre," and "Boston bombing" in online chatrooms. In addition, prosecutors allege that Norton, in the wake of being blocked from a chatoom for bullying another person, allegedly said, "Oh, ok, that's fine then I will just shoot him on Friday thanks."The weapons Norton and Stumbo allegedly brought to Boston
The Boston Globe reports that the charges against Norton and Stumbo are related to weapons, not their alleged threats. Both men, neither of whom has a license to carry a firearm in Massachusetts or Iowa, are due back in court on November 19.
According to Boston Police Superintendent Paul A. Fitzgerald, Norton and Stumbohad the potential to carry out a mass shooting at the Pokemon event. Attorneys for Norton and Stumbo claim the men had no plans to carry out violence and that their online comments were only idle chatter.
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