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Police caught him shoplifting. Then they found 16 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammo.

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

Ramadan Abdullah
Ramadan Abdullah

It started with petty theft. It ended with a major weapons bust.

Police in Johnson City, New York, inadvertently stumbled upon a massive unregistered gun cache in Broome County at the beginning of June, and it never would have happened without something 1 in every 11 people does: shoplifting.

On May 31, at a Gander Mountain location in Johnson City, police responded to an alarm that had been tripped off by Ramadan Abdullah, per the Press & Sun-Bulletin. When authorities searched Abdullah, 64, they found ammunition he had not paid for, according to WICZ.

In speaking with Abdullah further, police asked “the right questions,” Johnson City Police Chief Brent Dodge told the Press & Sun-Bulletin, and red flags were raised. Authorities obtained a warrant to search Abdullah’s property as a result, per WIVT, and executed the search on June 2.

What they found was a shocking amount of weaponry. According to Spectrum News, police eventually recovered 16 guns, including handguns, rifles, assault weapons and a shotgun, and 10,000 rounds of ammunition, ranging all the way up to armor-piercing incendiary rounds.

Police also discovered spare gun parts and dozens of high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, per Spectrum News. None of the weapons were registered to Abdullah. According to WICZ, he has now been charged with five felony counts and could face up as many as 15 years in prison.

Why exactly Abdullah had so many weapons and ammunition is unclear at this point.

“There's no indications there was a plan in place to commit an act of violence. However, it begs the question, what was he doing with all this and what were his intentions down the road?” New York State Police Major Jim Barnes said in a press conference Wednesday.

Police said in the press conference that they plan to study Abdullah’s travel plans and patterns. However, they also said the community was never in danger from Abdullah.

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