By Jon Winkler
WOBURN — Jeffrey Dusti remains in custody, facing nearly 100 criminal charges stemming from a police raid at his Shirley home last November during which dozens of firearms and other gun paraphernalia were confiscated.
The 62-year-old resident of Great Road was still in handcuffs when he stood in front of Judge Elizabeth Fahey in Middlesex Superior Court on Monday.
Dusti is facing 98 criminal charges stemming from two incidents that happened last October. His charges include 48 counts of possession of a firearm without a license, 18 counts of improper storage of a firearm, 15 counts of possession of a large-capacity firearm, one count of kidnapping and one count of assault and battery on a person over the age of 60.
Dusti was first arraigned in Ayer District Court on Nov. 1 after the State Police Gang Unit executed a search warrant at his house on Oct. 30. Under suspicion that Dusti allegedly possessed a homemade silencer, police found about 35,000 rounds of ammunition and 47 unlicensed firearms scattered around the house with some unsecured.
Dusti and his wife, Colleen McNamara, were both indicted by a Middlesex grand jury on weapons charges last week. McNamara was arraigned last Friday on charges of trafficking firearms, improper storage of firearms and allegedly purchasing firearms on behalf of her husband.
Assistant District Attorney William Freeman explained the original incident that led to these charges, basing everything back to the testimony of Dusti’s associate, Larry Williams.
According to Freeman, Williams did “odd jobs” for Dusti and was paid in cash or occasionally narcotics. Freeman said that Dusti and Williams allegedly got into an argument over money while the two were driving to Dusti’s house on Oct. 18. Williams allegedly claimed that Dusti had owed him money but Dusti rebutted that claim. Freeman said that the conversation “got heated” and allegedly became physical, with Dusti allegedly trying to take Williams’s phone out of his hand when he tried to call the police.
When the two arrived back at Dusti’s house, Dusti allegedly continued to assault Williams and called him a racial slur. Williams also claimed that Dusti allegedly tried hitting him with his car as he walked away from Dusti’s residence and tried calling 911 again. Williams was taken to a hospital and treated for multiple contusions, Freeman stated.
Freeman also alleged that Dusti made several threatening phone calls to Williams between Oct. 17 and Oct. 18. Those supposed calls and the alleged attack on Williams led to the charges of assault and witness intimidation, along with the involvement of State Police. Freeman also noted alleged complaints from a next-door neighbor that Dusti had shot targets in his backyard before. Freeman said this incident coupled with the discovery of the firearms warrants a concern for the safety of Williams and the general public.
Defense Attorney Michael Gerace said that much of Williams’ statements were not accurate and that there was “no nexus” between Dusti’s collection of firearms and the alleged act of violence against Williams.
He added that Dusti and his wife were long-time collectors of guns, some of which had apparently been in the family for many years, and that their collection was “modest” compared to others. He also noted that the neighbor’s allegations should only be counted as rumor and that his client was merely using a BB gun instead of a weapon with live ammunition. Gerace said that the weapons charges and the assault charges should be kept “unrelated” to each other and that his client was not a threat to society, eventually recommending a $5,000 bail for his client’s release with a restriction of a GPS monitor and home confinement only excused for medical treatment and court dates.
Judge Fahey noted how the alleged threatening phone calls Dusti made and his collection of firearms, a few of which have still not been turned in to the Shirley Police Department, were legitimate concerns. Fahey decided to take all of the information under advisement, returning Dusti to custody.
Dusti is set to return to court on May 6.