Stolen Gun Suspects Remain Held
By Scott Shurtleff
AYER -- One of two suspects in a two-state stolen gun case posted bail at her Wednesday morning arraignment, but remains in custody pending outstanding charges in Nashua, police and court officials said.
Sheri Napier, 36, of Dracut, who was arrested Dec. 20, posted $1,000 cash bail soon after her arraignment.
Napier faces 10 felony counts following the seizure of several unlicensed firearms from a Pepperell home by State Police investigators.
Napier looked down and stood behind the judge’s bench to avoid cameras as the charges against her were read.
Her co-defendant, Wayne Shay, 36, of Nashua, remains in custody at the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction in Billerica on similar charges.
Judge Margaret Guzman set his bail at $10,000.
Guzman cited Shay’s extensive criminal history and “the nature of these charges” as the reasons for granting a request for high bail from prosecutors.
Nashua police Lt. Craig Allard said Shay and Napier face Class B burglary charges in New Hampshire pending their release and disposition of Massachusetts proceedings.
The case began about 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 when a report was made to Nashua police about a storage facility burglary of four units. Allard said two individuals were seen on surveillance tape loading items into a Nissan Altima, resulting in the issuance of warrants and prompting the surveillance of a Dracut home where both were arrested days later. Authorities have not released the address of the Dracut home.
The two were arrested without incident after the car registered to Napier was discovered in the driveway. The Nissan Altima was the vehicle of interest in the storage-locker burglary that occurred on West Hollis Road.
Local and State Police performed surveillance on the Dracut home before arresting the pair, originally on fugitive from justice warrants issued by Nashua on the original theft.
Authorities said the suspects were sleeping when initial contact was made. After the arrest, according to police reports, Shay revealed to police the location of the stolen cache of firearms. Investigators then went to the home of “Shay’s friend” at 21 Townsend St. in Pepperell where they found “16 stolen firearms, 17 high-capacity magazines, a 100-round drum magazine and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition,” according to a press release.
Andrea Kelly, the Middlesex County assistant district attorney on the case, levied 14 felony charges against Shay, including possession of a firearm without a license (seven counts), improper storage of a large-capacity firearm (near a minor), felon in possession of firearms, possession of ammunition without an FID card, and unlawful possession of an assault weapon. Napier faces 10 similar charges in connection with the seizure.
Napier, according to attorney Tim Bush, is scheduled to have surgery on Jan. 11 and implored the judge not to grant prosecutors’ request of $5,000 cash bail. He asked Guzman to set bail at $1,000 cash. Guzman agreed, but explained that Napier’s release is tied to the outstanding matters in New Hampshire.
A probable cause hearing on the Massachusetts charges for both defendants is scheduled for Jan. 25.
Shay was granted a court-appointed defense attorney, Chris Reardon of Ayer.
His criminal history includes armed robbery, assault and battery and several drug convictions across two states over the past decade, according to prosecutors.
“In Mr. Shay’s statement to the police, he said that ‘Napier had no idea about what he was doing’,” Bush told the court during his plea for lower bail.