Former Fort Drum soldier pleads in “ghost gun” case
TROY, N.Y. (WWNY) - A former Fort Drum soldier has pleaded guilty to possessing a so-called “ghost gun” loaded with ammunition during a Black Lives Matter rally in Troy, NY, last summer.
Noah Latham pleaded guilty Monday in Rensselaer County court. HIs guilty plea was first reported by the Albany Times-Union.
Latham was one of several men police detained during a June 7, 2020 Black Lives Matter rally.
The men were in a parking garage near the rally, dressed in body armor, according to the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office.
Latham was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, second degree, a Class C violent felony. He allegedly had a pistol in the waistband of his pants, a “ghost gun,” a gun assembled from parts bought over the internet that has no serial number.
He pleaded guilty Monday to attempted possession of a weapon, and faces a sentence of “time served” - roughly six days - and five years probation.
Latham was stationed at Fort Drum at the time of the incident and was subsequently discharged from the military.
It remains unclear what the intent of the men, including Latham, was, though a pamphlet from a militia group, the New England Minutemen, was taken from the men.
“There were no definitive ties to the group,” Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew B. Hauf told 7 News.
Hauf said authorities never got a definitive reason why the men showed up at a Black Lives Matter rally. He said Latham and the others involved continued to insist they went to the rally to “make sure people’s rights were protected.”
Latham’s beliefs, while in northern New York, were neither clearly to the left or right.
7 News spoke with Latham in February, 2020 as part of a story on a proposal to make Jefferson County a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”
“We want to restore the Constitution and Second Amendment status as best we can because a lot of us feel that it has really been infringed upon by the SAFE Act and a lot of the new proposed laws,” said Latham at the time.
But in Facebook posts, Latham took issue with the way police have dealt with protesters. He repeats a tweet which reads “so you’re just gonna use police brutality on protesters against police brutality at the police brutality protest.”
He also repeated a tweet which reads “Police officers should need a four-year degree in criminal justice. There should be mandatory courses in de-escalation, mental health, coping, etc.
“This isn’t only for public safety, it’s to help the officers. It’s also to weed out kids who are mad and want authority.”
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