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I-91 Traffic Stop Leads to Weapons Seized, Driver Arrested

(Photo Courtesy: Mass. State Police)

(Photo Courtesy: Mass. State Police)

WHATELY, Mass. (WGGB) – A late night traffic stop leads to the arrest of a Vermont man on several gun charges.

State Police say that around 11:45 Thursday night, Trooper Joseph Petty stopped a Chevrolet van on I-91 north in Whately for allegedly displaying an expired license plate from Pennsylvania.

Petty was told by the driver, 33-year-old Timothy Harding of Brattleboro, Vt., that he was driving from Long Island back to Vermont after allegedly visiting friends and buying an amplifier he had found on Craig’s List.

The trooper was able to confirm that the vehicle was not properly registered and called for a tow truck to take the van from the highway.

Petty conducted an inventory of the van before it was towed and found a loaded Ruger LC9 9mm handgun in a backpack on the front passenger seat.

State Police say during that inventory, a Cetme Sporter .308 rifle and a Lugar Tec-9 9mm handgun were also found in a duffel bag in the van, along with 159 rounds of ammunition for the weapons

Harding, according to State Police, was not properly licensed to have the weapons and ammunition in his possession and was subsequently arrested and taken to the State Police barracks in Northampton to be booked.

Harding was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a large capacity firearm, possession of a large capacity feeding device, possession of ammunition, and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.

Arraignment is scheduled for Friday in Greenfield District Court.

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