The Connecticut State Police (CSP) arrested Eric Gervais, 37, on March 1, 2018, for possession of illegal weapons and potential bomb-making materials.
Gervais’ arrest stemmed from a prior encounter with law enforcement for a domestic violence incident. He was already in custody when authorities charged him with the weapons violations.
On January 31, 2018, troopers responded to a 911 call from a female victim reporting domestic violence at the Gervais home, located at 70 Kinsman Hill Road, in Lisbon, Connecticut. The caller said that Gervais had also made threatening statements about “shooting people” and committing “suicide by cop.” For this reason, several troopers responded to the emergency call and arrested Gervais, who did not resist, for domestic violence. Gervais was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a child, third-degree assault, second-degree threatening and first-degree unlawful restraint.
As part of the domestic violence investigation, authorities briefly searched the residence and discovered a number of firearms, including an unregistered assault rifle (possibly an automatic machine-gun), an illegal sawed-offed shotgun, several handguns, high capacity magazines (also illegal in Connecticut), ammunition, potential bomb-making materials, military manuals on how to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as anti-government literature. As a result of the discovery, troopers requested a search warrant and later seized the firearms, high-capacity magazines, ammunition, military manuals, and the anti-government literature. A CSP spokesperson was unable to expound upon the types of anti-government literature seized due to this incident still being classified as an open case and active investigation.
According to a CSP criminal information summary, Gervais was subsequently charged last week for possession of an assault weapon, possession of large capacity magazines, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, and criminal attempt to make bombs. He was arraigned before a judge in Norwich on March 1. Gervais remains in custody on $200,000 bond. Gervais has not yet submitted pleas in either the domestic violence case or the weapons case.
Members of the state police fire and explosive unit, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the state police emergency services unit and criminal investigators from the Easter District Major Crime Squad assisted with the investigation.
In early January, Hatewatch reported on four extremist-related domestic violence attacks occurring over the holiday season. These Shooting attacks in California, New Mexico, Virginia and Pennsylvania occurred with regularity in December, resulting in 13 deaths (including three extremists killed by police) and more than 20 injuries. Law enforcement often encounters extremists while responding to acts of domestic violence within the extremist’s workplace, residence, or public places. Authorities often use these types of situations to take a violent extremist into custody, to provide a “cooling off” period, as well as conduct further investigation, threat assessment, as well as threat management.