Two Arrested in Alleged Pokemon Championship Threat
The men had rifles, ammunition, police say.
— -- Two Iowa men are under arrest on weapons charges after Boston police were alerted to alleged threats of violence against participants at the Pokemon World Championship, police said today.
Security officers at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, where the Pokemon championship was to be held, alerted the Boston Police Department to the threats found on social media on Thursday, and the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC) began investigating.
Police said two male suspects were stopped attempting to enter the event. BRIC and Boston PD detectives were called and were told that the two men had driven to the event from Iowa and had several firearms in their vehicle, police said.
When the the suspects could not produce a gun license, police seized the vehicle, but the suspects were released pending a search warrant, according to the Boston PD.
On Friday, detectives received and executed a search warrant for the suspect vehicle and found a 12-gauge Remington shotgun, a DPM5 Model AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife, police said. At that time, an arrest warrant was issued for the two men.
With the assistance of the Saugus Police Department, BPD detectives located and arrested the suspects at a Saugus hotel, according to the Boston police.
Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, both of Iowa, were charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and other firearm related charges.
"There was not a nexus to terrorism but the investigation into the specific motive for the threats is ongoing," Officer Rachel McGuire, a Boston Police Department spokeswoman, told ABC News today.
The two men were expected to be arraigned Monday at Boston Municipal Court. It was not immediately known whether they had attorneys.
“Prior to the event this weekend, our community of players made us aware of a security issue," the Pokemon Company International said today in a statement. "We gathered information and gave it as soon as possible to the authorities at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center who acted swiftly and spearheaded communication with the Boston Police Department. Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved."
The Pokémon Trading Card Game and Video Game World Championships is an invitation-only event that took place from Friday through today, with players competing for a share of more than $500,000 in scholarship awards, according to the Pokemon website.