Two men who drove halfway across the country loaded for bear and Pokemon rivals will spend the next year in the South Bay House of Correction as part of their education on our stricter gun laws.
James Stumbo, 28, and Kevin Norton, 19, both from Iowa, pleaded guilty today to illegal weapons and ammunition charges that stem from their arrest last August after police found an AR-15, a shotgun and 300 rounds of ammunition in Norton's Prism, parked near the Pokemon World Championship at the Hynes convention center.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Rosalind Miller sentenced them each to the two years in jail recommended by the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. Both have already spent 335 days in jail, which will count towards their sentences. Had they gone to trial, they could have been facing more than 10 years in state prison on the charges to which they pleaded guilty and other charges that were dismissed as part of the plea agreement - which included possession of an illegal high-capacity feeding device.
Boston Police were waiting for the pair at the Hynes last August - alerted by convention staffers and Hynes security because of online threats the two made against other people planning to attend the convention. This included posting a photo of Norton's car - bearing an NRA sticker - with a shotgun and rifle on the trunk and a caption reading "Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come!!!"
Norton's lawyer, Robert LeRoy, said his client was partially the victim of an Internet feud that "got over the top" and partially the victim of his failure "to investigate the gun laws in Massachusetts." The two bought their mini-arsenal legally in Iowa, but didn't realize that possession of such armament in Massachusetts comes with stricter requirements.
After getting out of jail, the two will be on probation for two years, with conditions that include staying away from weapons and the Hynes convention center. Miller agreed with a defense request to let the two, who have no prior criminal records, serve their probations in Iowa.
Stumbo, whose mother and brother flew to Boston for the plea hearing, was a factory worker; Norton worked in a grocery store before his trip to Boston.