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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/19/2002 1:31:14 PM EST
When a team of Suffolk deputy sheriffs knocked on the door of a Ronkonkoma man's home Wednesday night to arrest him on harassment charges, they knew he was a former Army Ranger and might have a collection of weapons inside. They had no idea he had enough weaponry - sawed-off shotguns, bazookas, grenades, land mines, a tear-gas gun a rocket launcher - to outfit a small army. "They were just laying around in plain view," Sheriff Department Chief of Staff Alan Otto said. Inside Joel Forgione's house at 361 Boulder St., officers found more than 200 weapons, including 35 shotguns, 71 rifles and 29 handguns - 22 of which were licensed, Otto said. Forgione, 54, was arrested at his house about 11 p.m. on a charge of aggravated harassment involving a Nesconset woman who had lived with him last year, Otto said. The woman, Sarah Weaver, 23, obtained an order of protection against Otto in District Court this month, and the officers also were serving that order on Forgione, Otto said. Weaver had been Forgione's girlfriend before he verbally harassed her, Otto said. A man who answered the phone at Weaver's house and identified himself as her husband vigorously denied that claim. He said Weaver met Forgione at the Tender Trap, an adult club in Huntington, where Forgione worked as a bouncer. After Weaver had marital problems, she rented a room inside Forgione's house. The order of protection came with a firearms confiscation clause, Otto said, empowering deputy sheriffs from the domestic violence unit to seize any weapons they came across. After discovering the massive war chest, however, the officers contacted Suffolk police Emergency Service officers, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and Army officials. The officers began a lengthy search, testing and cataloguing the weapons, and spreading them across Forgione's front lawn yesterday. Officials also obtained a search warrant to examine the contents of two safes inside the house and discovered about $1,000 in cash and some guns, Otto said. Some of the weapons recovered were inoperable, Otto said. Forgione was arraigned yesterday in First District Court on the misdemeanor aggravated harassment charge, then released on his own recognizance. He was immediately re-arrested on felony charges of illegal possession of painkilling drugs Percodan and Vicodin and was held for arraignment today. Investigators meanwhile were working to determine whether the weapons he possessed were illegal.
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[url=http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-liguns192792925jul19.story?coll=ny%2Dlinews%2Dheadlines]Link to Story[/url]
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 1:34:00 PM EST
I'm extremely curious to know whether in fact Forgione was breaking any laws.
Link Posted: 7/19/2002 1:44:20 PM EST
"The officers began a lengthy search, testing and cataloguing the weapons, and spreading them across Forgione's front lawn yesterday." I hate it when they do that for the news media, so they can take pics and put on TV. [V]
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