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    Police-Fire Reports
    Wednesday, May 22, 2024

    Norwich man to get 12 years for gun possession, bomb making

    A man found in possession of pipe bombs, high capacity magazines, body armor and an AR-15 rifle at a Norwich boarding house can expect a 12-year prison sentence.

    Andrew Cook, 60, who remains in prison on $230,000 in bonds, appeared Thursday in New London Superior Court having recently lost his bid to suppress evidence obtained by Norwich police that led to his Feb. 28, 2021 arrest on multiple felony charges.

    Cook, represented by attorney Michael Miller, had attempted to have all of the evidence seized by police from his home tossed out, claiming the basis for the search was unconstitutional. Part of the argument surrounded an initial warrantless search of Cook’s room, where police discovered firearm and ammunition manufacturing material.

    Police claimed the material was observed when they were securing Cook’s room.

    Police would later obtain warrants for the bedroom and other parts of the house. Miller, in his argument to the court, compared those warrants to “the fruit of a poisonous tree,” claiming the basis for the warrants was tainted.

    Judge Shari Murphy, who presided over a suppression hearing in November, ruled that the initial search of the bedroom was in violation of Cook’s constitutional rights but that the search warrant application that eventually led to gun and bomb seizures “contained ample evidence that established the requisite probable cause” independent of the officers entry into the bedroom. For instance, police said one roommate had witnessed an intoxicated Cook firing his AR-15 in the basement of the house.

    The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas DeLillo.

    On Thursday, Cook entered no contest pleas to the charges of criminal possession of a firearm and illegal bomb manufacturing, along with a guilty plea to the charge of interfering with police.

    Police were called out to the Prospect Street boarding house on the afternoon of Feb. 28, 2021 to find an intoxicated and belligerent Cook fighting with his roommates. Police said Cook threatened to shoot his roommates and police, at one point telling officers “You’re gonna learn the wrath of God when your (expletive) head gets blown off,” police said.

    Cook is a convicted felon with three previous convictions for illegal weapon and explosives possession.

    Inside the Prospect Street boarding house, police said they found an AR-15 rifle with the serial number removed and part of a second AR-15 with the serial number removed and replaced with a stamp of a person holding up a middle finger and the words, “Here’s your serial number,” police reports show.

    Police also found several hundred rounds of empty shell casings, multiple 30-round magazines, bullet projectiles, gun powder, body armor and two PVC pipe bombs containing gunpowder and shrapnel in a bag in a closet. Police said the pipe bombs were live and had to be detonated by the state police bomb squad. There was also a partially completed pipe bomb.

    Cook politely answered a series of questions from New London Superior Court Judge John Newson on Thursday. Newson set sentencing for June 18, but also recognized the possibility of an appeal of the suppression ruling, which would call into question the basis for the prosecution.

    g.smith@theday.com

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