Cops: Navy sailor charged in Conn. 'disgruntled'
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — A Navy sailor charged with illegally possessing an AK-47 assault rifle was "disgruntled" and authorities were concerned about potential violence, police said Tuesday.
Cory Dion Caldwell, 24, allegedly kept the rifle under his bed in the barracks at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service opened an investigation after an informant told them about the weapon and said Caldwell made statements that were anti-government and anti-military, the documents said.
The informant "provided the information based on a fear for the safety of others," a police investigator wrote in an affidavit.
The sailor from Dalton, Ga. was arrested Monday at the submarine base, where he was assigned to the USS Springfield submarine. He was to be arraigned Tuesday in New London Superior Court.
Waterford police Sgt. Joseph DePasquale said that authorities found the assault rifle, high-capacity ammunition clips, other handguns and a gas mask at Caldwell's home in Waterford. He said Caldwell was "very disgruntled and anti-military" and there was concern of potential violence, but there was no evidence that Caldwell planned to harm anyone.
Along with the assault rifle, authorities also found that Caldwell had a .50-caliber handgun, two .45-caliber handguns and high-capacity ammunition clips for the AK-47 that could hold up to 50 rounds apiece, DePasquale said.
"It makes you wonder," DePasquale said. "Finding stuff like that obviously increased our concern. Our concern is whatever's motivating him to stockpile stuff like this."
The NCIS, which began its investigation on July 31, told police that a man who used to live with Caldwell in Groton said Caldwell had recently been kicked out after obtaining the rifle and because of his anti-government and anti-military rhetoric. He later moved to the residence in Waterford, where the landlord told investigators that Caldwell had an AK-47, according to the documents.
In an Aug. 17 interview at the NCIS office at the sub base, Caldwell said that he bought the rifle in April in Providence, R.I., and tried to arrange for it to be shipped to Connecticut. The gun store told him the rifle was illegal in Connecticut, and he had it shipped instead to Georgia. He then drove to Georgia to pick up the weapon and bring it back, the documents said. Caldwell consented to a search of his residence that turned up the rifle.
Caldwell was detained by Navy officials at the submarine base and arrested by Waterford police on Monday.
He was charged with possession of an assault weapon and sale or transport of a prohibited assault weapon. He was being held on $200,000 bail.
Associated Press writer Dave Collins contributed to this report from Hartford, Conn.