February 28, 2018
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BROCKTON — Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz is warning local police chiefs to be aware of a Duxbury man who he says visited a Plymouth school while awaiting trial on multiple weapons charges.
Cruz issued the alert Tuesday evening after a superior court judge denied prosecutors’ request to revoke bail for Christoper Barlow, 21, who police say falsely claimed to be a Homeland Security agent and amassed a collection of guns, ammunition, explosives and stolen medical equipment at his family’s Duxbury home. Cruz said at a press conference Wednesday that he issued the alert because he wanted police chiefs to be aware of Barlow’s release, not because Barlow had made a “specific threat.”
“When you look at the totality of the circumstances here, it is a dangerous situation,” he said.
Barlow was arrested in June after Duxbury police said they searched his family’s home and found three guns, guns parts, ammunition and chemicals that could be used to make explosives. He was indicted in October on six counts of receiving stolen property, four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition and one count each of impersonating a police officer, possessing an incendiary device and unlawfully carrying a dangerous weapon.
Barlow was held without bail for more than eight months after a judge determined that he could pose a danger to the public if released, but on Feb. 16 a Plymouth Superior Court judge ruled that he no longer posed a danger. Cruz said his prosecutors asked for $1 million bail, but the judge set it at $2,500, which Barlow was able to post the same day. His release was based on 14 conditions, including requirements that he stay at a house in Kingston and wear a GPS-tracking devise.
Cruz said his office learned Tuesday that Barlow started violating the conditions the day he was released, driving around town and stopping by a shopping center and at least one school in Plymouth. He said his prosecutors went to court to ask that Barlow’s bail be revoked but that request was denied.
“In light of these developments, I felt a sense of urgency and responsibility to let the Plymouth County police chiefs know of this information,” he said.
Cruz said his office is now trying to determine why his office didn’t learn of Barlow’s release violations for more than a week and a half after they started. The device Barlow is wearing is monitored by the state’s Electronic Monitoring Program Center in Clinton.
“We’re going to find out exactly what happened,” Cruz said.
Duxbury police began looking into Barlow in June after they were contacted by police in Easton, Conn., about chemicals, ammunition and a gun case found in a storage locker at a fire station where Barlow was volunteering while at college. Police said Barlow’s family refused to allow officers to search their home in Duxbury, but a family member later came by the police station and handed over a gun that they said belonged to Barlow.
Police said Barlow, who did not have a license to carry a firearm in Massachusetts, later came by the station himself and demanded to have the gun back, saying he was exempt from licensing requirements because he worked for the Department of Homeland Security. Police said Barlow also showed officers a badge, which police determined was fraudulent after contacting Homeland Security and confirming he did not work there.
Police said officers returned to Barlow’s Duxbury home with a search warrant and seized two long guns, a handgun and parts to build additional guns. They also found large-capacity magazines, boxes of ammunition, chemicals that could be used to make explosives and several stolen pieces of equipment, including handheld radios, a defibrillator and medical bags full of supplies, police said.
Police in Connecticut said Barlow was also carrying a stolen gas mask and a handgun with two loaded magazines at the time of his arrest there.