Some of the guns and homemade silencers seized as the State Police Gang Unit arrested 62-year-old Jeffrey Dusti, of Shirley, on nearly 100 firearms charges
Some of the guns and homemade silencers seized as the State Police Gang Unit arrested 62-year-old Jeffrey Dusti, of Shirley, on nearly 100 firearms charges this week. (SUN/Robert Mills)

SHIRLEY -- A 62-year-old Shirley man is being held without bail after the State Police Gang Unit -- acting on a tip that he had illegal, homemade silencers -- served a search warrant that turned up 47 guns, 44 such silencers, and about 35,000 rounds of ammunition, according to prosecutors.

"As you can see here, the sheer number of weapons is striking," said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, as she gestured toward a table full of guns inside the State Police barracks in Devens. "Presently, the purpose for which he had stockpiled them is unknown."

Ryan said the State Police SWAT team -- known as the Special Tactics and Operations Team -- helped serve the warrant, and that the State Police Bomb Squad assisted as well.

Dusti
Dusti (COURTESY SHIRLEY POLICE)

Jeffrey Dusti, of 206 Great Road, Rear, was arrested Tuesday about 3:15 p.m., when state troopers encountered him on Route 2A as they were heading to his home to serve the warrant, according to Ryan.

Ryan said Dusti, who is not licensed to possess or carry firearms, had a revolver in his pocket at the time he was arrested.

Ryan said Dusti was also wanted on a warrant out of Ayer District Court in connection with a case in which he allegedly assaulted a friend, though she said there were no firearms involved in that case.

In that case, which Ryan declined to discuss, Dusti is charged with assault and battery on a person over 60, witness intimidation, and two counts of making annoying phone calls, according to the DA's office.


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Details of that case were not immediately available since Dusti's arrest was not announced until just before Ayer District Court closed for the day. Ryan declined to comment on whether Dusti has any other prior criminal record.

Dusti was arraigned in Ayer District Court on Wednesday on charges of carrying a loaded firearm without a license and possession of ammunition without an FID, according to Ryan.

Judge Margaret Guzman ordered Dusti held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing that she scheduled for Monday.

A table at the State Police barracks in Devens is used to display the cache of firearms seized as Jeffrey Dusti, 62, of Shirley, was arrested on nearly 100
A table at the State Police barracks in Devens is used to display the cache of firearms seized as Jeffrey Dusti, 62, of Shirley, was arrested on nearly 100 firearms charges this week. (SUN/Robert Mills)

On Thursday, State Police filed nearly 100 additional criminal charges against Dusti. He is now additionally charged with 47 counts of possession of a firearm without a license, 44 counts of possession of a silencer, possession of a loaded firearm without a license, possession of ammunition, and possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

Among the weapons seized were at least one sawed-off shotgun, several AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, handguns, and 44 homemade silencers, some of which appeared to have been made from automotive oil and gas filters.

Ryan said some of the weapons were found inside "containers" in the home, while others, including a sawed-off shotgun, were in "plain view" when police entered.

"As we look at recent events across our country, now more than ever, we have to be mindful of the risks of the proliferation of unlicensed firearms, as well as homemade modifications such as these silencers, that make the weapons even more deadly and dangerous than they are in their natural state," Ryan said.

Ryan said police found 11 more guns in the home that were legally owned by Dusti's wife, who she did not identify.

"She has not yet been charged in connection with this incident, but her license to carry firearms has been revoked," Ryan said.

A woman who answered the door at Dusti's home Thursday evening politely declined to comment before quickly shutting the door again.

Some of the rifles that were seized as the State Police Gang Unit arrested 62-year-old Jeffrey Dusti, of Shirley, on nearly 100 firearms charges this week.
Some of the rifles that were seized as the State Police Gang Unit arrested 62-year-old Jeffrey Dusti, of Shirley, on nearly 100 firearms charges this week. (SUN/Robert Mills)

At least two signs on the side of the home and a nearby garage bore drawings of a handgun along with a warning that nothing inside was worth losing a life over.

Online property records of the Shirley Assessor's Office say the property is owned by Jeffrey Dusti and Colleen McNamara Dusti.

Ryan was joined at a press conference regarding the arrest by members of the State Police Gang Unit and Shirley Police Chief Samuel Santiago. She said the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also assisting the investigation.

Ryan said Dusti is accused of manufacturing the silencers in his home. 

While some firearm owners say silencers -- also known as suppressors since they do not fully silence the sound of a gun firing -- are useful for protecting gun owners from hearing loss, Ryan said the devices have no legitimate use.

"There is clearly no instance in which a law-abiding citizen needs to be in possession of silencers," Ryan said. "Silencers exist for one purpose only, and that is to permit a gun to be used discreetly in the hopes of not being overheard or detected."

Two of Dusti's neighbors said they didn't know Dusti, and one said she didn't even know his last name until Thursday. Both said Dusti never caused trouble in the area, though a woman who lives nearby said he "seemed a bit off."

Another neighbor said he often saw Dusti walking his dog, but did not know him beyond that.

The home is on a hill behind an auto body shop just across Great Road from the Bull Run Restaurant.

A man identifying himself as Jeff Dusti, from Shirley, commented several times about firearms in online forums such as Ammoland. Two of his online comments mention his affection for Hi Point firearms.

In one comment, he laments the 2016 death of Hi Point Firearms' founder, saying he owns two of each of the carbines made by Hi Point.

In 2015, an attorney who was representing Dusti in a land dispute with the town told Nashoba Publications that Dusti was thinking about suing the Town of Shirley.

Dusti was trying to sell part of his property on Great Road to someone who was going to develop condominiums there, but the buyer backed out and demanded his cash deposit be returned after Building Inspector Butch Farrar told him the lot Dusti was trying to sell was "unbuildable," Dusti's attorney said. Dusti was also disputing some of the fees the town had charged him.

A search of online court records turned up no indication that Dusti ever followed through on the threat.

It appears Dusti did sue the Massachusetts Firearms Licensing Review Board in 2012, though, according to online court records.

The board, which was created in 2004 to consider petitions from people convicted of misdemeanors who still want to obtain firearms licenses, lost the case Dusti filed, according to online records.

The matter before the court was sent back to the board for further review, according to online court records. Even if that board approved giving Dusti a firearms license, though, the Shirley police chief would still have had the authority to deny Dusti a license.

The board has recently made news due to revelations it approved as many as 340 licenses statewide in violation of federal law. State authorities earlier this year encouraged local police chiefs to revoke the licenses of those 340 people, according to published reports.

Dusti also owns properties at 212 Great Road, 218 Great Road, and on Parker Road in Shirley, according to online data from the Assessor's Office.

Ryan said the guns that were seized will now be tested to determine whether they have any ties to local crimes.

"We don't know right now the purpose of why he had them, had so many, or why he was making so many silencers," Ryan said. "We're in the very early stages of the investigation so it may go anywhere else."

Follow Robert Mills on Twitter @Robert_Mills