Two Sentenced to Prison in Pokemon Weapons Case

     BOSTON (CN) – Two Iowa men who made online threats against the Pokemon World Championships and took firearms to the event in Boston last August have each been sentenced to two years in prison.
     James Stumbo and Ames resident Kevin Norton also were each given two years of probation and ordered to undergo mental health evaluations and possess no weapons after their prison time.
     The men initially faced a total of five weapons charges, but that was reduced to two each as they changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty in Boston on Thursday.
     Noting that the weapons were unloaded when recovered and that the ammunition for both was secured, prosecutors agreed to dismiss an additional charge of unlawful possession of a high capacity feeding device.
     The men were arrested while trying to register for the event. Authorities found an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and 300 rounds of ammunition in their car.
     Norton, of Ames, Iowa was charged with the unlawful possession of a 12-guage Remington shotgun and Stumbo, of Boone, Iowa, was charged with possession of a DPMS AR-15 rifle.
     Both men pled guilty to the possessions charges as well as for unlawfully possessing about 300 rounds of ammunition, according to a release from Conley’s office.
     Had the case proceeded to trial, prosecutors would have introduced evidence and testimony showing that Norton and Stumbo drove from Iowa to Boston in August 2015 in order to attend the Pokemon World Championship at the Hynes Convention Center.
     Prior to their arrival at the event on Aug. 20, however, Boston Police were notified of statements and images they had allegedly posted online that could have been construed as threats of gun violence.
     “Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come,” Stumbo posted with a photo of the AR-15 and shotgun displayed on its trunk. That statement and others were made amid an online chat in which others — but not the defendants — referred to “Columbine pt 2,” “another Boston massacre,” and the “Boston bombing.”
     As a result of the posts, officers stopped both men upon their arrival at the convention center and issued no trespass orders.
     Norton allegedly made statements to the officers that the men had a shotgun and rifle in Norton’s 2002 Chevrolet Prism, prosecutors said.
     Boston Police froze the vehicle and towed it to headquarters.
     The men were interviewed and released. When police executed a search warrant and recovered the weapons, they returned and took both men into custody. They have remained held since their arrests.
     Norton and Stumbo were represented by attorneys Robert LeRoy and Steven Goldwyn, respectively.

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