Metro

Winthrop man, 70, allegedly carried assault rifle in vehicle to fight ‘jihadists on the highway’

The weapons, bullets, and equipment that police say they seized from Stephen White, 70.
Boston Police Department
The weapons, bullets, and equipment that police say they seized from Stephen White, 70.

A 70-year-old Winthrop man who allegedly drove into Dorchester on Tuesday afternoon with a small arsenal of guns, ammunition, and body armor told police he needed the firepower to guard against “jihadists on the highway,” court records show.

The startling admission by Stephen White was contained in a Boston police report filed in the case against him in Dorchester District Court. White was arraigned Wednesday on charges including unlawful possession of a large-capacity firearm and unlawful possession of a large-capacity feeding device. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

He was held on $7,500 cash bail and ordered to surrender all firearms.

Advertisement

White’s lawyer, Bob Wheeler, declined comment Thursday, except to say via e-mail that his client pleaded not guilty and “I am confident that he will be exonerated.”

Get Metro Headlines in your inbox:
The 10 top local news stories from metro Boston and around New England delivered daily.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

According to the report, police seized items including an AR-15 rifle, .45-caliber pistol, more than 350 rounds of ammunition, and a black tactical vest with ballistic armor from White’s Ford Explorer in the area of Columbia Road and Massachusetts Avenue.

An officer asked White “why he was possessing this arsenal while operating in the City of Boston,” the report said. “Suspect White responded with a lengthy response which included that he was concerned with ‘jihadists on the highway’ and that he has ties to [the] US Military; which [is] currently conducting ‘tests’ on how to address the situation of terrorists on [the] highways.”

In a chilling aside, White also told police that terrorists could trap motorists in a matter of minutes.

“White went on to say that ‘It only takes 7 minutes to block off the highway exits’ and he needed to [be] prepared for such an event,” the report said.

Advertisement

White and his companion in the vehicle, Krista McCaffrey, 30, were allegedly preparing for something altogether different from a counterterrorism operation when they drove into Dorchester, authorities said.

The police report said a plainclothes officer observed McCaffrey engaged in what appeared to be a drug transaction inside a KFC restaurant and confronted her when she returned to the front passenger seat of White’s Explorer.

The officer told McCaffrey that “he was aware of what she was up to, and if she was in possession of any illegal narcotics that it would be in her best interest to hand them over,” the report said.

White liked the sound of that. The report quoted him as telling McCaffrey, “Sounds like a good deal to me.”

McCaffrey spat out a bag containing a brown substance believed to be heroin and handed it to the officer, telling him, “What the [expletive], I seen you. I thought you were a user.”

Advertisement

As police began taking information from McCaffrey and White, the latter came clean.

“I’m gonna tell you, I’m armed,” White allegedly said. “I’ve got a pistol on my right hip.”

Police seized the loaded pistol and ammo from White’s pocket and demanded his license to carry the gun, which he produced, the report said.

The officers asked White if he had anything else in the car, and he told them, “I’ve got an AR in the back,” according to the filing. Massachusetts law classifies the AR-15 as a banned assault rifle.

Sure enough, police opened the unlocked back hatch of the Explorer and discovered an “AR 15 style rifle, bandoleers containing several high capacity . . . magazines, a black tactic vest with ceramic body armor,” and additional firearm cleaning supplies and accessories, the report said.

McCaffrey was arrested for allegedly possessing a class B substance. In addition, she had open warrants out of South Boston District Court for possession of ammunition without a FID card and possession of class E drugs, the report said.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.