Kenyan in US charged with illegal possession of firearm
A Kenyan who was out on bail for armed assault was on Sunday arrested by the Police and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and operating a motor vehicle without a license in Lowell Massachusetts, USA.
John Wachaga, 20, was apprehended only a week after a Superior Court judge drastically reduced his cash bail and freed him pending the hearing of a case in which he is charged with armed assault with intent to murder a 16-year-old boy.
Police from the Lowell Police Vice unit say they found Wachaga with a loaded 380 caliber handgun after they stopped his vehicle in connection with a drug-related investigation.
Prosecutor Rachel Perlman said that after conducting surveillance, a Lowell police vice unit conducted a motor-vehicle stop on Gorham Street near Ellsworth Street at about 7 pm.
When they stopped the car, they found that Mr Wachaga, who was accompanied by a female passenger, did not have a valid driver’s license.
They also spotted the handle of a black, 38-caliber handgun sticking out from under a seat, Perlman said.
Before the Sunday arrest, Wachaga was facing charges of armed assault with intent to murder and armed assault with intent to rob in connection with the January 20 shooting of a 16-year-old Lowell boy on East Merrimack Street. The 16-year-old survived with two gunshots to his leg.
Lowell Superior Court Judge Edward Leibensperger had lowered the bail amount to $10,000, according to Lowell Sun, a local newspaper.
“We have booked him for being in possession of a defaced firearm in a felony, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle,” said the prosecutor.
Wachaga’s next court date in Lowell District Court on the new case is June 5.