CRIME

Raphael Enrique Amoroso's Car Had Gun, Sniper Book: Cops

10/21/2011 09:45 am ET | Updated Dec 21, 2011

By JEFF BARNARD, Associated Press

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- A Southern Oregon man who was stopped leaving a high school football game earlier this month is back in custody after authorities say searches of his house and car turned up military rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and a novel about a sniper killing people at a football game.

Investigators don't know if Raphael Enrique Amoroso of Grants Pass was planning a sniper attack, "but we were very concerned about it," Grants Pass police Sgt. Ray Myers said Thursday. "As the case developed, it became more troubling with the information that we were receiving."

Federal authorities this week asked that Amoroso, 27, be held without bail while they investigate charges of having a gun on schools grounds and being a marijuana user in possession of a gun.

Amoroso has not been indicted, Assistant U.S. Attorney Judy Harper said.

He initially was released after his Oct. 7 arrest on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana after leaving a high school football game in Grants Pass.

In the car, police found an ounce and a half of marijuana, a loaded gun in the glove compartment, and 200 rounds of rifle ammunition, as well as the sniper novel, according to an affidavit filed by a federal agent.

Police went to the house Amoroso shares with his mother five days later looking for evidence of manufacturing marijuana, Myers said.

A search warrant shows items found there included military rifles from World War I, World War II and the Korean War; hundreds of rounds of ammunition; a fuse; a single-shot shotgun; a helmet, a camouflaged bulletproof vest, a .22 pistol; books; and a computer.

Myers said instructions on making a bomb, anti-government literature, military training books, and gunpowder also were found.

It was unknown if Amoroso had an attorney; a call to the federal defenders' office wasn't immediately returned.

Amoroso's criminal history includes an arrest when he was a 15-year-old honor student and member of the swimming team at Grants Pass High School, The Grants Pass Daily Courier reported. He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for shooting a pellet gun at a jet boat filled with tourists passing by on the Rogue River.

The pellet hit a man in the cheek. Amoroso was sentenced to 90 days in juvenile custody.

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