EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 1, 2013

Arraigned on gun charges

Bail set at $15K for UMass Lowell student from Lebanon

By Jill Harmacinski
jharmacinski@eagletribune.com

---- — METHUEN - A call to a Middleton gun shop about purchasing a silencer and making an illegal gun modification led authorities to a Gaston Street man with high capacity weapons, according to police.

Bail was set at $15,000 yesterday for Jad Ali Mokdad, 24, of 61 Gaston St. who was charged with two counts of illegal possession of a high capacity feeding device and a single count of having an unsecured firearm accessible to a person under age 18.

Judge Michael Brooks also ordered Mokdad to surrender his passport and check in with probation weekly following his arraignment yesterday in Lawrence District Court.

Mokdad is from Lebanon and currently attending the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where he is scheduled to graduate in December with a finance degree, his defense attorney said in court yesterday.

Police Chief Joseph Solomon also revoked Mokdad’s license to carry on Friday prior to his arrest. Mokdad was licensed to carry rifles but not high capacity magazines, Solomon said.

Mokdad was storing the weapons, including one that was unsecured, in a bedroom he shares with a 6-year-old girl at 61 Gaston St. according to a Methuen police report.

Gaston Street is located in an neighborhood off Pleasant Valley Street.

When he was arrested Friday, local police, working with FBI, ATF and Homeland Security agents, seized an AK-47 WASR-10 assault rifle and ammunition, a Ruger handgun with .38 caliber rounds, an MP 15 assault rifle and two AK-47 30 capacity round clips from Mokdad’s bedroom, police said.

Police said Mokdad recently purchased a high-capacity firearm from North Shore Firearms in Middleton. Later Jad’s father, Ali Mokdad called the store “inquiring about purchasing a silencer for the weapon (WASR-10) and also inquired about how to make the magazine a high capacity 30 round clip by modifying the gun.”

“He was advised that items he was inquiring about where illegal,” wrote Methuen Detective Charles Dejesus in his report.

After the call, North Shore Firearms contacted Middleton police and the ATF office, Dejesus wrote.

Also, the FBI had recently received another report from Middleton police, who said a patron at the Danvers Fish & Game Club was approached “by an unknown male” who was “inquiring about how to modify an AK-47 assault rifle.”

“Patrons found this suspicious and alerted police and the FBI,” Dejesus wrote.

If convicted on the high capacity weapons charges, Mokdad faces 21/2 to 10 years in state prison. Punishment for the unsecured firearm carries a one to 10 year prison sentence.

Mokdad is due back in Lawrence District Court Oct. 25 for a probable cause hearing.