Men suspected of plotting Pokemon attack plead not guilty

Bail was set Tuesday at $150,000 for the two Iowa men accused of plotting an armed attack against the Pokemon World Championships, held in Boston in August. That's double the amount requested by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of possession of a large-capacity weapon and other crimes.

The Boston Herald reports that in setting the bail, Suffolk Superior Court Clerk-Magistrate Gary D. Wilson explained their are no conditions of release that would prevent the defendants from purchasing more firearms. “They can buy guns anywhere: Wal-Mart, Bass Pro Shops. ... I’m not going to add a thousand conditions that are virtually unenforceable.”

Norton and Stumbo have been held on firearms charges since Aug. 22, after police and federal authorities discovered an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge Remington shotgun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a hunting knife in the car they drove from Iowa to Boston's Hynes Convention Center, where the World Pokemon Championships were held.

Event organizers and police were tipped off that the defendants had allegedly made multiple online threats against the championships, in which they'd been invited to participate. After Norton and Stumbo were barred from entering the convention center, police obtained a search warrant for their car, where they found the stash of weapons and ammunition. The two were later arrested at their motel in Saugus, north of Boston.

The defendants' lawyers emphasized in their previous court appearance that there's no evidence the two planned to carry out their online threats, and, in fact, they're only charged with weapons violations. However, prosecutors and police insisted they weren't “mere keyboard commandos,” and possessed the capabilities to carry out an attack.

If Norton and Stumbo manage to pay their $150,000 bail, they're forbidden from having any contact from each other and are banned from all Pokemon events. A bail-review hearing is scheduled for Nov. 19, followed by a pre-trial hearing on Dec. 2.

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