EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

May 16, 2009

Police: Man said 30,000 bullets were for target practice

He is held on $500,000 bail

HAVERHILL — Keni Garcia told police he intended to use the 30,000 bullets they found in his car and home for target practice.

That is hard to believe, the prosecutor at Garcia's arraignment said, because if he were to fire a gun for eight hours a day, it would take weeks for him to use all of it.

Garcia, who allegedly bought thousands of rounds of ammunition and had 10,000 bullets in his car when he was stopped by police Thursday, was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail yesterday.

Attorney Socrates de la Cruz of Lawrence, who represented Garcia, 32, of 12 Freeman St., at his arraignment in Haverhill District Court, said he will appeal the high bail in Superior Court.

Garcia is charged with three counts of possession of a high-capacity firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and illegal storage of a firearm. His case was continued until June 12.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Holland asked Judge Patricia Dowling to impose $750,000 cash bail.

"He has no reason to stay here," Holland said.

The judge ordered Garcia to surrender his passport, and said that if he makes bail he is not to leave Massachusetts.

Garcia is a native of the Dominican Republic who was expected to become a U.S. citizen yesterday, but then he was arrested, authorities said.

Police arrested Garcia after he had left Interstate 495 at Exit 49 Thursday. They said they found 10,000 rounds of ammunition in his car. His two young daughters also were in the car, police said.

Holland said at Garcia's arraignment that a "joint effort" by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and state police found that Garcia had previously bought 20,000 rounds of ammunition in New Hampshire.

Garcia told police he only intended to use the bullets for target practice at a rifle range, Holland said, disputing Garcia's explanation. His common law wife, Elizabeth Reynoso, consented to a search and police found another 20,000 rounds, Holland said. They also found one .38-caliber and two 9 mm handguns, and $25,000 in cash, Holland said.

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