I hang strings of ammo around the house at christmas.
Cache of weapons found
By Natasha Lee and Zach Lowe
June 22, 2007
STAMFORD - Two teens with an interest in violent computer games and Nazi Germany were arrested yesterday after allegedly shooting a gun in Scalzi Park, leading police to discover dozens of weapons, explosives and threatening literature in the apartment where one of them lives.
Police said they did not know what the teens planned to do with the weapons. The case is under investigation.
The incident began at about 2:30 a.m. yesterday, when officers on patrol heard shots fired in Scalzi Park on Bridge Street and pulled over a car that had sped away, said Sgt. Christopher Baker of the narcotics and organized crime squad. Officers found a loaded gun in the car, along with spent shell casings, Baker said.
Officers arrested 19-year-old Devon Modugno, who lives at Woodside Green across from the park, and David Castelblanco, 18, of 120 Apple Valley Road, for firing a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun at a trash bin, Baker said.
Modugno's mother, Agnes Modugno, 54, later was arrested on a charge of second-degree reckless endangerment when police learned the .45-caliber gun was licensed in her name and not in her possession, police said.
During interviews, police learned of more weapons in the 106 Woodside Green apartment Devon Modugno shares with his mother, Assistant Chief Robert Nivakoff said.
At Woodside Green, which is at Washington Boulevard, Bridge Street and Summer Street, police said they found at least 20 guns, including a sniper rifle and a pump-action shotgun, knives, swords and strings of ammunition.
Three buildings at the apartment complex were evacuated after 10 a.m. when the bomb squad was brought in to X-ray and detonate several explosives, including a grenade used in rocket-propelled launchers similar to ones used by terrorists, police said. The explosives were detonated at an undisclosed site.
An officer carried a computer from the scene. A sticker for the German rock band Rammstein was visible on the hard drive. The band came under public scrutiny in 1999 after the Columbine High School tragedy when officials learned gunman Eric Harris was a fan of the group. The band had denied affiliation with Nazi groups or white supremacy organizations.
Police also seized white supremacist literature and a drawing they said showed two stick figures hiding under a desk with plastic explosives going off. In the drawing, the explosives were referenced as C-4, a material commonly used by terrorists, police said.
The words "Get down, the table will save you!" were written as if coming from a hunched stick figure.
Police said it was too soon to say whether the drawings and weapons were plans for an attack.
"I think they had plans," Nivakoff said. "But we don't know yet if they were imminent."
At a press conference at police headquarters yesterday, Lt. Sean Cooney said police also confiscated hundreds of violent computer games, including some that portrayed mass killings.
Ski masks and a sample of the confiscated weapons - including a sniper rifle, 10 magazine cartridges and swords - were spread out across three tables.
At the time of their arrests, Castelblanco was driving a Ford Focus registered to Agnes Modugno, and Devon Modugno was a passenger, Cooney said.
Devon Modugno and Castelblanco have no criminal histories, Cooney said.
Police said Agnes and Devon Modugno had permits for some of the guns. Police were trying determine whether the guns were obtained illegally or were modified to make them illegal.
Devon Modugno and Castelblanco were charged with illegal possession of a handgun, possession of a pistol without a permit and possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle.
Police may add other charges once they sift through the seized weapons and other evidence, Nivakoff said.
Police were sending the explosives to the FBI for analysis.
Agnes Modugno was being held on a $10,000 bond.
The teens were held on $500,000 bond each. All three are scheduled to appear in court July 10.
Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr said he heard nothing from police about increased security for the graduations at Stamford and Westhill high school yesterday. Nothing unusual was reported during the ceremonies, Starr said.
According to Advocate archives, Stamford schools listed Castelblanco as a 2006 graduate of the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering. Modugno is listed as graduating from the city's Alternative Routes to Success home instruction program on Tuesday. As a student in the program, Modugno could have graduated from his assigned high school, Stamford High, yesterday evening but he did not attend either of two mandatory rehearsals, school officials said. Reached by telephone yesterday, Felix Modugno, Devon Modugno's grandfather, declined to comment.
Relatives of Castelblanco could not be reached last night.
Woodside Green residents said they were shocked at the arrests.
A man who declined to give his name said he is friends with the Modugnos, and they often walked their dogs together at the park inside the complex. Devon Modugno collected the weapons as a hobby and practiced at a firing range, he said.
"He's a nice kid," he said. "I wouldn't say there were any tell-tell signs he was going to blow up anything. I think they were into it for the fun of it."
Barbara Dietzman said she often crossed paths with Agnes Modugno, who routinely walked her dachshunds in the park and sometimes walked other residents' dogs.
Dietzman said Agnes Modugno is a sweet animal lover. Her son is quiet and likes to dress in dark clothing and had a Gothic look, Dietzman said.
"It's so bizarre. I'm just glad it ended the way it did," she said.
An animal control officer removed two dachshunds from the Modugno apartment yesterday. Residents of neighboring apartments said they were worried about their own pets.
A resident who declined to give his name said he returned home from work in Norwalk this morning to find his apartment blocked.
"I have no idea what's going on, but I'm worried about my two cats," he said.
Baker said it isn't unusual for narcotics officers to find military-type weapons when making arrests. Often the weapons are sold on the streets, he said. But the number of weapons and amount of ammunition seized was disturbing, he said.
The arrest possibly averted dire actions, he said.
"It's something I'm glad we got a hold of," Baker said.
- Staff Writer Chris Gosier contributed to this story.
Sniper rifle = Model 700 perhaps?At Woodside Green, which is at Washington Boulevard, Bridge Street and Summer Street, police said they found at least 20 guns, including a sniper rifle and a pump-action shotgun, knives, swords and strings of ammunition.
I hang strings of ammo around the house at christmas.