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Lawyer: Nashua man in FBI gun case entrapped

Union Leader Correspondent

April 02. 2012 11:22PM

NASHUA - A lawyer for a man arrested Friday after the FBI raided his home and confiscated a cache of weapons says his client was entrapped by police.

Vincent Lenza, 24, of 47 Gilson Road, was charged with selling a firearm to a felon and the unlawful sale of marijuana.

During a search of his residence, authorities allegedly recovered 14 guns, including three AK-47 assault rifles, a TEC-9 submachine gun, a 12-gauge shotgun and various handguns, in addition to 2,600 rounds of ammunition, according to police.

'This case sounds much bigger than it is,' said Attorney Charles Keefe, representing Lenza.

During Lenza's arraignment Monday in 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division, Lenza'a lawyer Charles Keefe maintained that Lenza is not a threat to the community.

'We are talking about a gentleman who collects things,' said Keefe, explaining Lenza collects firearms and coins, among other items. 'Mr. Lenza has no criminal record prior to this.'

Keefe claims this was a 'trapped offense,' and that an informant approached Lenza three times asking to buy a gun.

A police prosecutor, Evelyn King, told Judge Michael Ryan that Lenza admitted to previously purchasing the guns and drugs in New Jersey, and that authorities are continuing to determine the origin of the firearms, which have been seized by police.

Keefe argued that his client has not been charged with illegally owning the weapons, adding any guns Lenza obtained in New Jersey were obtained more than six years ago.

Ryan reduced Lenza's bail from $50,000 cash only, as recommended by the prosecution, to $5,000 cash only.

During Friday's raid on Lenza's residence, the FBI Safe Street Gang Task Force, along with Nashua police, asked several residents on Gilson Road to temporarily evacuate their homes while executing a search warrant to confiscate the weapons.

'We know he sold at least one of the guns,' said Lt. David Bailey, adding investigators are still trying to determine why Lenza had such a large collection of firearms.

Police also will be investigating whether any of the weapons were stolen, or whether any require a federal firearm license as mandated for fully automatic guns, Bailey said.

The task force also allegedly recovered an undisclosed quantity of Ecstasy and marijuana from the home, he said, adding further arrests are anticipated.

Under his bail conditions, Lenza is prohibited from possessing any firearms or dangerous weapons. He will be back in court April 13 for a probable cause hearing.

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