A Charlotte man is being held in Rhode Island, after a minor traffic stop revealed he was driving around with an arsenal of weapons and ammunition, including military issue smoke grenades and night vision goggles, reports the Rhode Island State Police.
Anthony Mondrez Thompson, 39, was pulled over about 8 p.m. Thursday on Interstate 95 near West Greenwich, officials said. It was after he tried to escape troopers on foot that the cache of weapons was found, police said in a statement.
Among the items seized: Eight high-powered pistols, a revolver, two AR-15 assault rifles, a sawed-off shotgun, numerous high-capacity rifle and pistol magazines, boxes of ammunition, military-issued smoke grenades, holsters, camouflage gear and masks, night-vision goggles and a Taser.
The troopers also found about 15 ounces of ecstasy and molly, which has a street value of about $3,400, officials said.
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Thompson has been ordered held without bail, pending further court action, officials said.
Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Col. Ann Assumpico said it is one of the largest firearms seizures the department has made in recent memory.
“These lethal weapons posed a tremendous threat to everyone living, working or vacationing in Rhode Island,” Assumpico said in a press release. “We are extremely grateful to have these dangerous weapons off the streets.”
Troopers say it was a check of Thompson’s extensive criminal record that prompted them to ask him to exit the vehicle. He complied, but then shoved one of the troopers into the road and took off on foot, running across the highway into oncoming traffic.
After allegedly failing to respond to commands to stop, one of the troopers used a Taser, causing Thompson to fall to the road. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the fall, officials said.
Thompson is facing 12 weapons, drug and assault charges, including possession of four stolen guns, alteration of the marks of identification on a firearm and possession of an explosive substance.
How Thompson got the stash of guns and why he was in Rhode Island is still under investigation, reported the Providence Journal.
Court records in North Carolina show Thompson has a list of charges – including robbery and kidnapping – dating from 1994 to 2004. He has been found guilty of possession of narcotics with intent to sell and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, records show. He was sentenced to seven years in federal prison, according to records.