Police Seize Rare Weapon
Sheppard found a sixty year old Nambu machine gun from Japan in the trunk of the car.
In addition, the two women are also facing some serious drug charges.
Police reports say Sheppard noticed that one of the women, Traci Bower from Dunnellon had what appeared to be a crack pipe sticking out from underneath her shirt. He searched the car and found crack and an assortment of prescription pills, but it wasn't until he looked in the trunk that he saw a large gun.
"When he started to pull it out, he realized it was much heavier than a normal gun and much bigger," said Williston Police Chief Dan Davis. "We've learned since then that the gun was produced and in service for Japan between 1922 and 1945."
Agents from the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have since looked at the machine gun, and say for it's age, it is actually in really good shape. In fact, they say it's only missing a bolt that can easily be replaced and probably still fires.
So how did Bower and the other woman in the car, Abby Ross of Beverly Hills, get the gun and what were they planning to do with it.
Those are questions that Williston Police officers and ATF agents are now trying to answer.
"She said it was her grandfather's, and that she was trying to pawn it in the community. Our belief was she was trying to pawn it for crack," said Davis.
ATF agents continue to try and trace the gun's history, but they believe it might have been illegally smuggled into the country after the war.
As for Bower and Ross, they each face multiple drug possession charges. Bower has since bonded out, but Ross remains in the Levy County Jail. No word yet on what police will do with the gun after the cases against the women go to court.
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