TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A felony weapons charge against an Averill Park man connected to the group wearing fatigue type clothing at the Troy Black Lives Matter protest was among several felony charges filed recently by the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s office.
Nathaniel Shepard, 34, was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, 16 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in third degree, and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly said Shepard surrendered himself to the Troy Police Department for processing and arraigned in Troy City Court where he pled not guilty and was released to the supervision of probation.
According to Deputy Chief of Police Daniel DeWolf, police received intelligence there was a group of suspicious individuals in downtown Troy. Police conducting a preliminary investigation after the group made its way to the City Station garage on 6th Avenue. Troy Mayor Patrick Madden says they were detained and questioned by police.
Some of the men were carrying loaded firearms and two way radios and some
were also carrying batons.
A search of vehicles recovered a cache of loaded firearms and ammunition, a gas mask, fireworks and a tactical manual tying the group to the New England Minutemen militia group was also found in one of the vehicles.
Noah Latham, 21, from Fort Drumm, was arrested and arraigned in Troy City Court in connection to the same incident.
Troy Police is still conducting an investigation in this incident.
“Our community and our law enforcement officers worked very hard to maintain a peaceful environment at Troy’s rally. The decision of these individuals to attend the rally with loaded firearms, protective gear, fireworks and two way radios leaves open questions as to their intentions. While we continue to actively investigate this situation, we may never know what could have happened if not for the swift intervention of the Troy Police Department, ” Donnelly said.