More details have surfaced and a second arrest has been made after an incident at a recent Black Lives Matter rally in Troy, which resulted in the arrest of a Fort Drum soldier for allegedly carrying a ghost gun.
The soldier, Noah Latham, 22, was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon on June 7, following a rally that same day.
The Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office alleges Mr. Latham had been carrying a ghost gun on his waistband, which is a firearm that is often sent to buyers partially assembled for the buyer to acquire the parts to finish building it. It is alleged Mr. Latham’s gun had no serial number, and he reportedly did not have a pistol permit license. Mr. Latham was later arraigned and released with a monitoring device to the supervision of probation on Fort Drum.
According to a news release from the district attorney’s office issued Tuesday, Mr. Latham was part of a group of seven other men at the rally, all dressed in military-style body armor and wearing bullet-proof vests. Some were carrying loaded firearms and two-way radios. Others carried batons. The group was apprehended by Troy police as it approached their vehicles at the rally. A search of the group’s vehicles recovered a cache of loaded firearms and ammunition. A gas mask, fireworks and a tactical manual tying the group to the New England Minutemen militia was also found in one of the vehicles.
The rally was peaceful, according to the district attorney’s office, and it was unclear what the group had intended to do.
The release also announced a second arrest has been made of a man in the group, 34-year-old Nathaniel Shepard of Averill Park. Mr. Shepard was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C violent felony; 16 counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D violent felony; and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class A misdemeanor. Shepard surrendered himself to the Troy Police Department for processing, was arraigned in Troy City Court where he pled not guilty and was released to the supervision of probation.
“Our community and our law enforcement officers worked very hard to maintain a peaceful environment at Troy’s rally,” District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly said. “The decision of these individuals to attend the rally with loaded firearms, protective gear, fireworks and two-way radios leaves open questions as to their intentions. While we continue to actively investigate this situation, we may never know what could have happened if not for the swift intervention of the Troy Police Department. ”
The investigation is ongoing, and Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew B. Hauf is handling the prosecution.