MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Charges are dropped in a case that involved dozens of guns and ammunition found inside a Vadnais Heights home.
Investigators claimed Christopher Stowe’s 13 year-old son made threats against a classmate at the Academy of Sciences and Agriculture in Vadnais Heights. When they searched the home, they say they found a cache of weapons.
WCCO’s Reg Chapman spoke with Stowe’s attorney. Attorney Bruce Rivers says his client should never have been charged with a crime.
Rivers says Ramsey County sheriff’s deputies did not have probable cause to search his home, and what they found, Rivers says was more like family heirlooms than dangerous weapons.
”In the home a cache of weapons was found, along with at least one ballistic vest, thousands of rounds of ammunition and at least one explosive device,” Ramsey County Sheriff Jack Serier said.
On March 2, Serier paraded pictures of the weapons taken from inside Christopher Stowe’s Vadnais Heights home. Stowe’s home was searched after his son allegedly made threats to one of his classmates.
A parent called the sheriff’s office and an investigation began.
“The school had resolved the issue, there was never a threat and the school had talked to the child and suspended the child and considered the manner closed,” Rivers said.
Stowe’s attorney, Rivers, says there was no threat and there shouldn’t have been an investigation.
“When the government did their search, they didn’t have probable cause to search and then when they charged the case out after the search. They did not have the evidence,” Rivers said.
The Ramsey County Attorney eventually dropped the two felony charges against Stowe.
“The last time we were in court they dismissed the first count, which was possession of a short-barrel shotgun. It was a pistol,” Rivers said. “The second count is the machine gun count, and it wasn’t a machine gun.”
Rivers says his client was the victim of law enforcement over reacting.
“This is the problem, you have hysteria surrounding a major event like Parkland and that’s what this was. This was better safe than sorry, let’s trample on their rights,” Rivers said.
Rivers says his client could face charges from the city of Vadnais Heights for improper storage of a firearm, but he hopes those charges will be dropped. He adds his client is a gun enthusiast and hobbiest, and wants the guns that were passed down from generation to generation in his family back.