Keller denies, hides rifle before more guns recovered

SOUTHBRIDGE — Local police arrested a Spencer man after a gun was allegedly brandished Monday evening during a dispute on High Street.

Chase Keller, 20, of 45 Main Street in Spencer, was arrested on multiple gun-related charges after police responded to 115 High Street for a reported altercation between neighbors involving a firearm. At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Monday, officers from the Southbridge Police Department arrived to the apartment building and spoke with a man who claimed to have been involved in an argument with both a neighbor and another man visiting the neighbor. According to a press release issued by police, the neighbor’s guest “had displayed a firearm during the altercation.”

Police spoke with the neighbor, whose name was not released, as well as the neighbor’s visitor, Keller. The neighbor and Keller each “had visible bruising on their faces and one of the subjects was bleeding from his eye socket and obviously recently involved in some type of physical altercation,” according to police. Authorities said both men claimed to have been assaulted by the tenant across the hall, whom officers had initially spoken with. Police noted that Keller and his host denied having any firearms in the apartment.

Officers soon recovered a Kel-Tech rifle that had been hidden inside a blanket on a couch that Keller had been sitting on. According to the press release, police determined Keller “was attempting to hide the rifle from officers.” Furthermore, police recovered live rounds of .22 caliber ammunition and fireworks.

As police continued to interview witnesses, officers were informed Keller had hidden another firearm in a vehicle parked outside of the apartment building. Police were able to observe, in plain view, two .22 caliber rounds of ammunition in the cup holder of Keller’s motor vehicle. Officers subsequently searched the vehicle and recovered an unsecured and loaded 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun with a collapsible stock, five 12 gauge rounds of ammunition, an unsecured bolt action Springfield .22 caliber long rifle, an unsecured Iver Johnson .22 caliber revolver containing eight cartridges of expended ammunition and two large capacity feeding devices compatible with Keller’s Kel-Tech rifle.

According to police, Keller does possess a valid firearms identification (FID) card, but not a Class A license to carry firearms. Keller confirmed the vehicle police found the additional weaponry in was his, but allegedly denied knowing about the pistol. Police said Keller told them the pistol “could have been left there by people that have used his car in the past.”

Keller was charged with carrying a loaded firearm without a license, with being in possession of a large capacity feeding device, with the improper storage of a firearm and with the unlawful possession of fireworks. He was held pending his release on bail and/or his arraignment in Dudley District Court on Tuesday.

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