New London man one of few convicted of illegally possessing large capacity gun magazine

A New London man whose palm print was discovered on the magazine of a stolen 9 mm handgun left at the scene of a June 22, 2017, shooting on Truman Street is one of just 16 people to be convicted of illegally possessing a large-capacity magazine since a state ban was enacted in 2013.

Raashid Cox, 28, was sentenced last week in New London Superior Court to 18 months in prison for illegal possession of a large-capacity magazine. He faced up to five years in prison for the charge.

Cox is a repeat firearms offender, having been convicted of carrying a pistol without a permit in 2009 and criminal possession of a firearm in 2014. He is listed on the state's Deadly Weapon Offender Registry and at the time of his arrest was on special parole for the 2014 conviction, for which he was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

The ban on gun magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition and the law creating a Deadly Weapon Offender Registry were enacted in 2013 following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. State police said that on Dec. 14, 2012, gunman Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle loaded with 30-round magazines to fire 154 shots in five minutes, killing 20 children and six adults.

According to the Judicial Branch, there have been 18 convictions for violation of a large-capacity magazine in a total of 16 cases. Those who owned large-capacity magazines prior to the ban were required to register them. As of Monday, the number of individuals who have declared large-capacity magazines in the state is 40,990, according to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection's special licensing and firearms unit. They have declared a total of 2,651,165 magazines. Police officers and members of the military are exempt from the large-capacity magazine ban. 

Judges have the discretion to "suspend prosecution" of those charged with illegal possession of a large-capacity magazine if they find the person will probably not offend in the future, has not previously been convicted of a gun violation and has not previously had a prosecution suspended.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit written by Detective Joshua Bergeson, New London Police were called to a shooting in the area of 111 Truman St. at 11:17 p.m. on June 22, 2017. They located a victim with a gunshot wound to the leg, and he was taken to the hospital. Police found evidence that two separate firearms, a 9 mm and .32 caliber handgun, had been involved.

At the scene of the shooting, officers found a Taurus 9 mm handgun, with a magazine that could hold 18 rounds of ammunition, that had been reported stolen from West Warwick, R.I. The magazine contained two rounds of ammunition. They also found 14 shell casings that had been ejected from a 9 mm handgun during the shooting, and a .32 caliber bullet.

Detectives sent the weapon and the spent shell casings to the state Forensic Science Laboratory. Examiners test-fired the gun and determined it was in good condition. The laboratory reported that all of the 9 mm shell casings and a fragmented projectile found at the scene had come from the 9 mm.

Cox had been seen fleeing from the scene of the shooting, and detectives asked the forensic laboratory to do a direct comparison of his fingerprint with the palm print the lab reported it had found on the magazine. In September, the lab notified New London police that a latent impression located on the magazine was identified as Cox's palm print.

At the sentencing, Cox's attorney, Michael L. Chambers, said he could have argued at trial about how long Cox's palm print was on the magazine, but it would have been a difficult argument. Cox ultimately decided to accept a plea deal worked out between his lawyer and prosecutor Paul J. Narducci.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Hillary B. Strackbein reminded Cox that he can't own any guns or magazines.

k.florin@theday.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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