NY prosecutors scour social media accounts of man arrested near airport with massive cache of weapons

by Vern Evans

New York authorities are looking at social media accounts to ascertain the motivation of a Queens man pulled over with an arsenal of weapons and NYPD uniform items just blocks from LaGuardia International Airport.

Judd Sanson, 27, was arrested Wednesday on multiple illegal weapons charges after police say they recovered a 9 mm Glock handgun, nine loaded magazines, 179 rounds of ammunition, heavy body armor, handcuffs, a stun gun, multiple knives, a makeshift sword, a weighted whip, an expandable baton and two axes. 

Police also recovered a Guy Fawkes mask, which is sometimes used as an anti-government symbol, an orange MTA vest and an NYPD bulletproof vest.

Thomas Montella of Queens Defenders, Sanson’s lawyer, said at Sanson’s arraignment Thursday this was, “at the end of the day, a gun case,” the New York Post reported. But his client was sent to Rikers Island without bail.

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District Attorney Dylan Nesturrick said police “averted what could have been a disaster for the citizens of Queens, New York City and potentially even the country” when they pulled Sanson over for an illegally blacked-out license plate. 

Investigators found a “disturbing photo” on the man’s Facebook page, Nestrurrick said without elaboration.

“We are asking for social media,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz told reporters Thursday. “We’re going to look at what he said on social media. We’re going to look at the computers. We’re going to actually find out what his intent is.

“When someone is driving around with 11 different weapons, all of this ammunition, language on the baton that sounds threatening … transit uniforms that can be used almost anywhere in our subway system or in our transit system, we have reason to be concerned.

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seized weapons placed on desk

“A lot of [the weapons were] makeshift, so that he was making them. So, there is thought that goes into that. … It’s not just that you throw a weapon in a car,” Katz added.

Katz also mentioned troubling words inscribed on Sanson’s recovered baton:.”You left me no choice, I am sorry, You gon [sic] learn today,” it allegedly says with the Arabic word for “God forgive me.”

“At the moment, we don’t have terrorism charges, but we are still continuing the investigation, especially considering the language that was used,” Katz said. “We’re prosecuting right now for gun possession and for the intent to use that gun. And we are going to continue this investigation to make sure that we are safe. About his mental state.”

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mugshot of Judd Sanson

Katz declined to comment on Sanson’s social media posts but said a search warrant had been executed at the man’s father’s home and that there was a lockbox for a weapon with a serial number that didn’t match any of the guns found by police in the vehicle. 

“As a result of that search, (there is) a weapon that we have not found yet,” she said.

Katz also said she and her office were unaware of Sanson having a gun license.

Former New York Homeland Security adviser Michael Balboni walked Fox News Digital through the process of investigating a potential terrorist on social media. 

“They’re going to go to his social media accounts and see who he’s in contact with,” Balboni said. “There are all sorts of groups that have already been identified that have targeted transportation networks. They’re going to see if he was in touch with any of those individuals.

“They’re also going to see if there are any plans — verbal, sketched out, schematics — like how you would reach a secure terminal of [the airport]. 

 

“[They] want to know not only who he is in contact with. Has he received any training? Has he visited any gun ranges? Has he had any prior arrests involving incendiary devices, explosives, firearms? Those are the things [they] want to know so [they] can develop a profile to see if this individual has a violent history or violent motivations.

“This obviously has an indication that he’s not going to the mall to go shopping, that he is, in fact, trying to do something nefarious. That’s a reasonable perception,” Balboni added. “But you let the facts lead you. You don’t get any preconceived notions. Everyone has a right to be judged by a jury of their peers. … You can’t jump and say this guy is a terrorist.”

The FBI declined to comment on whether it was involved in the investigation. Fox New Digital could not reach the Department of Homeland Security for comment before press time.

Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report. 

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