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Federal agents raid Southbridge home looking for weapons, official says

Federal agents raided a home in Southbridge Wednesday morning in an apparent search for weapons, according to authorities and neighbors.

Authorities would not say what was seized from the house at 174 Elm St., and no arrests were disclosed.

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Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the agency’s homeland security investigations directorate, which is leading the investigation, executed a search warrant, but declined to comment further.

A law enforcement official who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing said authorities were searching for a large amount of weapons.

Neighbors said that more than two dozen federal agents raided the home between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. One neighbor reported seeing agents take several boxes from the property, and he said two women were escorted from the house, but not handcuffed.

Phone numbers listed for the property were not in service on Wednesday.

David Maricola, who lives at the address, told WHDH-TV that he was upset but did not comment when a reporter asked if he was doing anything illegal with firearms. Maricola’s wife told the station that her husband has guns and sells gun parts.

A spokeswoman for US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said she could not discuss the raid because the search warrant remains sealed in federal court in Boston.

Southbridge police referred questions to ICE. A spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives confirmed that the agency assisted in the search.

Southbridge resident Gerry Lafleche, 58, said by phone that seeing federal agents descend on a home in the town of about 17,000 people was surprising.

“You don’t send ATF and ICE down to dinky Southbridge for nothing,’’ Lafleche said.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. Milton Valencia can be reached at valencia@globe.com.
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