TROY — A member of a “fatigue clad group” stopped by Troy police near Sunday’s protest against police brutality has been charged with a felony weapons count as the overall investigation remains ongoing, police said Monday.
Police identified the man as Noah Latham, 22, of Fort Drum. He faces one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony, police said.
Additional charges are possible against other members of the group, police said.
In a release, police said the apprehension of the group averted “what may have become a violent encounter.”
The case against Latham was one of two unrelated arrests announced Monday related to the Sunday protest. Federal prosecutors also charged a Troy man arrested Saturday, the day before the protest, accusing him of threatening to attack the Police Department and distributing information on explosives.
In the gun case, Troy police detained the “fatigue clad” men in an area where more than 11,000 people gathered Sunday to march against police brutality and systemic racism, the largest such gathering in the region. They gathered at Riverfront Park to listen to speakers at a rally that took on a bloc party-type atmosphere and also protest at the Troy Police Department.
The incident began Sunday afternoon at about 4:30 p.m. as police received intelligence that a group of suspicious people were downtown wearing fatigue type clothing. The group made its way up Ferry Street to the City Station garage on Sixth Avenue, police said.
Troy police and other officers stopped the group “in the interest of keeping citizens safe” and found members of the group were armed with handguns, police said.
Police then took the group in for questioning on their motives and whether the weapons were legally possessed, police said.
Three vehicles belonging to the group were also towed for the investigation and are awaiting the execution of search warrants, police said.
“The quick action by officers that apprehended the group as well as the members, both in uniform and plain clothes that were conducting surveillance and providing the security for the demonstration, are commended for averting what may have become a violent encounter that day,” a police release read.
Latham was arraigned in Troy City Court, police said. His custody status wasn’t immediately available early Monday afternoon.
In the federal threat case, Jahjuan Saab, 20, was arrested Saturday and accused of making threats to injure another person and with distributing information pertaining to the manufacturer of an explosive or destructive device with the intent that the information be used for violence, prosecutors said.
Saab is accused of making Facebook Live recordings in which he threatened to throw bricks at the Police Department, at police vehicles and at City Hall during the Sunday demonstration, prosecutors said.
He is also accused of offering instructions on how to make firebombs with the intent they be used during the demonstration, prosecutors said.
Sabb appeared in U.S. District Court Monday and was ordered detained pending a hearing Wednesday, prosecutors said.
The federal case is being investigated by the FBI’s Capital District Safe Streets Gang Task Force, which includes FBI special agents and members of state and local law enforcement agencies, including Troy police and state police. The case is being prosecuted by assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.
Correction 1:42 p.m.: Police initially released the incorrect degree of charge against Latham. He has been charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, not third-degree.
More on Sunday’s Troy march:
- Tense moments at Troy protest Sunday afternoon, but calm prevails
- Nightfall brings tense truce in Troy as demonstrations continue