Former Army Reservist Pleads Guilty To Attempted Bank Robbery And Theft Of Machine Guns


Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb announced Monday a former Army Reservist admitted to stealing 10 handguns and six machine guns from a U.S. Army Reserve facility, attempting to rob two financial institutions and escaping from federal prison.

Thirty-five-year-old James W. Morales of Cambridge unlawfully entered a weapons vault at the Lincoln Stoddard United States Army Reserve Center in Worcester on November 14, 2015 and stole 10 M-11 handguns and six M-4 Carbines, according to court documents.


Detectives found DNA at the scene, which was matched to Morales several days after the burglary. The DNA was entered into the DNA database and matched Morales who was facing charges of child rape in Middlesex Superior Court.

A surveillance video from the facility showed a BMW X1 parked near an adjacent building and a man going to and from the vehicle with duffle bags. Detectives learned that Morales had rented a BMW X1 at the time of the robbery, according to court records.

Morales later rented another vehicle with a GPS, which showed him traveling to New York City. Detectives apprehended Morales in Long Island on November 18, 2015.The carbines and handguns were recovered.

Morales was detained at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island. He was able to escape from the facility on December 31, 2016, jumping onto a roof from a basketball hoop and going through a barbed wire fence.

In January 2017, Morales attempted to rob several banks. After a short foot pursuit, Morales was apprehended.

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