OUI arrest in Greenfield nets ammo cache

GREENFIELD — A traffic stop landed a Vermont man in lockup after state police arrested him on charges including drunken driving and illegal possession of ammunition.

Bruce Avery, 59, of West Dover, Vt., pleaded innocent to driving under the influence of liquor, possessing ammunition without a permit, marked lanes violations and speeding, at about 11 p.m. Thursday.

Trooper Joshua Hansen encountered Avery driving a blue Toyota Tacoma pickup west on Route 2 in Gill, and followed him past Adams Road in Greenfield before pulling him over, according to trooper Nicholas Pellegrino.

“Trooper Hansen saw him crossing the double yellow line, and traveling 3 feet into the breakdown lane,” said Pellegrino. At first, said Pellegrino, Hansen gave the driver a chance to straighten out, but when he repeatedly left his own lane, the trooper pulled him over.

“He had a thick tongue, he slurred his words, and he fumbled with his paperwork as he handed it to the trooper,” said Pellegrino. “He failed the field sobriety test, and agreed to take a Breathalyzer test,” which he also failed.

With Avery under arrest, a tow truck was called to take his vehicle away, and police conducted a routine inventory of the pickup.

In the truck, police found 17 boxes of ammunition in an unsecured green bag, and Avery was found not to have a firearms permit in Massachusetts or his home state, said Pellegrino.

Pellegrino said about 14 of the boxes each had five to eight shotgun shells, an assortment of buckshot and slugs, and the remaining boxes contained .22 rounds. None of the ammunition found was illegal on its own.

An out-of-state permit wouldn’t have been any help, however, as Massachusetts requires an in-state gun license or permit to possess ammunition or firearms.

Pellegrino said Avery offered no explanation for the ammunition. He said Avery told police he had been working in Shutesbury before his arrest, and admitted to having “two or three beers” before hitting the road.

Pellegrino said Avery was released on $100 cash bail, and arraigned in Greenfield District Court Friday. He is due back for a pretrial conference Feb. 28.

David Rainville can be reached at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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