A Texas couple is behind bars for allegedly stockpiling high-powered weapons including a grenade launcher in a Tewksbury hotel room, and the husband told police that he works for a “secret government agency” and needed the arsenal “for his mission,” court records show.
Francho Bradley, 59, and Adrianne Jennings, 40, both of Frisco, Texas, were arraigned Monday in Lowell District Court on charges including possession of a large-capacity firearm, improper storage of a large-capacity firearm, possession of an infernal machine, and possession of a machine gun (bump stock), Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office said.
Bradley, who has a valid gun license in Texas but not in Massachusetts, told investigators he needed the firearms for an unspecified mission, according to a Tewksbury police report posted to the Lowell Sun website.
“He also stated that we could take the guns and store them at the Tewksbury Police Department, but he would have to come get them if he was called for his mission,” the report said. “Francho went on to say that he can’t tell us what he does for work or why he has all the guns with him, but that he is down in this area working for a government agency that is dealing with a virus.”
Pleas of not guilty were entered on the defendants’ behalf. They’re due back in court March 30. Attempts to reach their lawyers for comment were unsuccessful.
The couple got on the radar of law enforcement Saturday afternoon when Bradley called Tewksbury police to report that he believed his room at the Residence Inn had been burglarized because a video surveillance device that he attached to the door had cut out, Ryan’s office said in a statement.
Bradley said he was concerned because an unsecured gun was in the room, according to the release.
The police report quoted him as telling the dispatcher that he didn’t want the gun to fall into “the wrong hands.”
Police went to the room and discovered several long guns wrapped in a flight suit, prosecutors said. Investigators then got a search warrant for the room and the couple’s vehicle.
They seized quite a haul.
The police report said the items recovered included an AK-47, an AR-15 with a grenade launcher and silencer, a .22-caliber rifle with a silencer, two .308-caliber rifles and three loaded large capacity magazines, a 9-millimeter gun with two large capacity magazines, a .45-caliber gun with two additional speed loaders, a shotgun, numerous rounds of ammunition, and multiple smoke grenades.
Ryan’s office said investigators do not currently believe there is any additional threat to public safety.
“However our investigation is continuing,” the statement said. “As this is an active investigation no additional information is being released at this time.”
Tewksbury police said in a separate statement that the “purpose behind the couple’s Tewksbury stay and unlawful possession of the weapons cache remains under a multi-agency investigation.”
The police report said Bradley refused to disclose the agency he was purportedly working for.
“He stated that he couldn’t tell us and that if we found out what he was doing, we would have to be writing reports for a long time, due to the fact it is classified,” the report said. “Francho came off very odd, it appeared he was trying to hide something and he was not forthcoming at all.”
Bradley also claimed to have previously served as a Los Angeles police officer and a military “bomb tech,” according to the report.
Investigators learned that he had received parking tickets on two consecutive days in the same area of Cambridge, even though he said he had no ties to Boston or Cambridge, the report said.
As a result, police began to suspect “he may be surveilling an area,” the report said. “It should also be noted that I knew there was a major demonstration ‘March for Our Lives’ in Boston that day.”
In addition to the firearms, the couple had several tactical military-style vests with “ ‘flash bangs’ and military-style smoke machines, tactical helmets, and military-style equipment to include satellite phones and radios,” the report said.
Bradley later told police he was a contractor for a company he owns called Ensyme Engineering but wouldn’t detail what the outfit does, the report said.
Jennings also spoke to investigators and said she and her husband “always bring the guns with us in case he gets deployed,” but she, too, would not elaborate, the report said.
During a separate interview with FBI agents, Bradley made a number of bizarre assertions, including that he served on the LAPD “sometime” during the 1984 Olympics and knew there were details of the O.J. Simpson case that were “supposed to be kept from the public,” police said.
Bradley also told investigators that he had “prominent roles” with Barack Obama’s presidential election campaign and with the German government, working as a plainclothes officer in that country’s DST-K44 Unit, the document said.
Bradley at one point displayed a badge that said “Department of Defense, United States of America” and claimed to work for a “secret government agency,” police said.
He also said he “saved a one-star general who was kidnapped a few years ago,” the filing said. “Francho also stated that his first wife who was 60 years old died of old age, so he married someone who is 20 years younger than him to ‘solve that problem.’ ”
But that story was contradicted by a Virginia man who spoke to investigators and said he’s currently married to Bradley’s ex-wife, according to court records. The Virginia man said Bradley’s former wife was traveling in Morocco and unavailable to speak to police, and that Bradley had been telling stories about his government work “for years,” the report said.
The man said, “No one knows if it is true or not,” the document said.
Massachusetts authorities later contacted Frisco police and learned Bradley had reported to that department in 2013 that Jennings had gone missing, records show. Bradley told Frisco, Texas, cops that he was concerned because Jennings “was a psych patient and had ‘mental issues’ ” that required medication, the filing said.
Jennings was later located and told police at the time that she bolted after she saw Bradley’s shotgun lying on a table.
“She stated that her friend got killed by a shotgun and she wasn’t going to let him kill her,” the report said in reference to the 2013 incident. No charges were filed in that case.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.