Police have upgraded charges against a college student whose cache of drugs and guns were discovered following a house fire.
Jaret J. Moskal, 22, of Hobe Sound, Fla., was arrested again on Friday, Dec. 6 and charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana, distributing or manufacturing schedule I drugs near schools, carrying a dangerous weapon while involved in a crime, and possession of a firearm while committing a controlled substance violation.
Previous charges from his Nov. 26 arrest — three felony drug possessions — remained. Police dropped the structure fire charge.
“The investigation is still ongoing,” said Bristol Police Dep. Chief Steve Contente. “Our case was strong enough for us to obtain a manufacture and distribution charge. We feel confident we can prove that his intent was to sell (the drugs).”
Mr. Moskal’s initial arrest came after firefighters responded to a house fire at his residence, 78 Washington St., on Nov. 25. After putting out the blaze, officers seized six guns — a bolt action rifle, pellet gun, Sig 556, Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, Diamond Back 15, and a Keltec Sub 2000 — for a total value of $2,150.
Police also seized $3,000-worth of marijuana, $20 in amphetamines, ammunition, and a plethora of drug paraphernalia.
Police interviewed Mr. Moskal’s roommate, Kimberly Kitchener, 21, of Coronado, Calif., who told officers that earlier in the afternoon, there had been a small electrical fire in the ceiling fixture in Mr. Moskal’s room and that he had put the fire out. The two believed the fire to be completely extinguished when they left for the evening, she told police.
She was notified of the fire when her landlord called her cell phone.
The house is located across the street from Guiteras Elementary School, and the arsenal discovery had one parent concerned enough to approach Bristol Town Councillors last Wednesday night.
“It’s extremely concerning to me, a parent of three kids in school, to have what I consider an arsenal of guns across the street,” Shael Norris told councillors during their regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 4. “I want to know why that information wasn’t shared with parents or the superintendent, so we’d be informed about the safety of our kids.”
Dep. Contente, who was present at the meeting, assured Ms. Norris that had the police department believed a threat was imminent, officers would have acted on that first.
“We did not pick up on any specific threats against anyone, no plots,” he said. “We put some serious thought into it, whether we were going to go above and beyond, and possibly risk our investigation by bringing additional details to the public. What was required to be released was released.
“We assure you, we took it very seriously. We did not find any specific threat.”
The guns recovered were legally registered to Mr. Moskal, who is a student at Roger Williams University.
Mr. Moskal posted $5,000 of a $50,000 surety bond on Sunday. He was released from the Adult Correctional Institutes under the supervision of the 6th District Court pre-trial services, where his actions will be monitored by an officer of the court.
He is due back in court Feb. 27, 2014.