A tip about a vehicle carrying several possibly stolen weapons led officers to arrest three men late Tuesday and recover guns taken from a Schoharie County residence, Colonie police said.
Police had received information the trio was headed to the West Albany Pocket Park, off nearby Exchange Street, possibly to sell the guns, police spokesman Lt. Robert Winn said.
Inside the vehicle, he said, police found a cache of weapons that included eight rifles, three shotguns, two black powder handguns, two crossbows, two compound bows, three knives and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Police also found various hunting equipment, Winn said.
All the weapons are typically used to hunt, Winn said. They also would generally be legal to own without permits, he said, except that they were stolen, and the three people in the vehicle each had criminal records that precluded gun ownership.
After checking the weapons, police found at least five of the rifles were taken during a burglary in Schoharie County on May 25. The Schoharie County Sheriff’s Department and state police are assisting with the probe.
Authorities in Schoharie County are investigating a string of six summer cabin burglaries, all in the same area of the town of Jefferson, Winn said.
Winn said police did not have information on a potential buyer in the park but wanted to ensure that the guns weren’t sold and stopped the truck on Wendell Drive, near Wendfair Terrace, before the driver could get to the park.
The initial tip came from a citizen concerned the weapons might be stolen, Winn said. Police then mobilized, stopped the truck and arrested those inside without incident, he said.
Arrested were Dale R. Olmstead, 28, of 84 Morton Ave., Albany; Jesse W. Rodriguez, 34, of Johnson, Vt.; and Sebastian B. Shepard, 30, of Key West, Fla. Each faces one count each of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, both felonies.
The weapons possession count is based on prior convictions against each of the men in New York state. Rodriguez was convicted in Orange County in 2000 of first-degree robbery, according to papers filed in court.
Rodriguez and Olmstead also face one count each of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor, while Shepard, who was identified as the driver, faces one count of third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a misdemeanor, and traffic violations.
The three were arraigned and ordered held pending their return to court next week.