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Tennessee man arrested with 11 handguns in backpack at South Station, Boston police say

These handguns and ammunition were recovered from a man's backpack on Monday afternoon. John Pierre, 25, of Lutts, Tenn. was subsequently placed under arrest on firearms charges.Boston Police Department

Boston police arrested a Tennessee man on firearms charges Monday afternoon after he arrived at South Station with a backpack full of 11 handguns and ammunition, which authorities allege he was going to distribute in the area, police said.

John Pierre, 25, of Lutts, Tenn., was taken into custody in the area of 700 Atlantic Ave., according to a posting on bpdnews.com.

At his arraignment Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court, Pierre faced 24 charges, including possession of a weapon without a license, possession of large-capacity magazines, and possession of ammunition, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said in a statement. He was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Thursday.


“This is an individual intent on selling firearms and adding to the unacceptable levels of guns on our streets,” Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in the statement. “Gun traffickers should beware that their danger to public safety will be met head-on and they will be held accountable.”

It was not clear whether Pierre had hired an attorney.

Boston police said Pierre arrived at South Station at approximately 2:25 p.m. and was seen by officers carrying a backpack that appeared to be weighted down, as he was alternating the bag between both hands. As Pierre went down the escalator, he was met by law enforcement officers and was placed under arrest, police said in the posting.

Police recovered 11 handguns along with 16 magazines and several boxes of ammunition from Pierre, who allegedly purchased the firearms out of state and was planning to illegally distribute these firearms to various individuals in the Boston area, the posting said.

Police said the arrest was the result of a joint investigation involving members of the Boston Police Department’s Youth Violence Strike Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.


Globe correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.