By FELICIA KRIEG
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City Police arrested two brothers on felony weapons charges Thursday after surrounding a local apartment building.
The investigation started when City Police made a traffic stop for a loud exhaust at 2 a.m. Thursday on Oak Street, according to a press release from Plattsburgh City Police.
During the stop, officers discovered the driver, Jacob E. LaDuke, 21, of 38 Adirondack Lane, was in possession of a loaded 9mm pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and body armor, police said in the release.
LaDuke was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony.
He was also issued traffic tickets for making an improper right turn and inadequate exhaust.
Police Chief Desmond Racicot said that while Jacob was driving around the city, his brother, Evan R. LaDuke, 23, was driving in the same area in another vehicle.
It was unclear Thursday night what Evan had in his car at that time though, Racicot said.
While Racicot said police could not say why the LaDuke brothers were both driving around at 2 a.m., he did say the fact that one of them had a gun and body armor in his vehicle is “certainly a very scary situation.”
He said neither Jacob nor Evan had the legal right to possess a handgun.
“We’re investigating what they were doing and where they were going,” Racicot said.
GUNS, BODY ARMOR FOUND
After the traffic stop, further investigation led police to believe there were more illegal weapons at LaDuke’s apartment.
Plattsburgh City detectives began working on the case and obtained a search warrant for LaDuke’s apartment and a car at that location from City Court Judge Mark Rogers, police said.
Racicot said police had the apartment building on Adirondack Lane surrounded by undercover officers, with an armored vehicle on standby nearby, in case the suspects tried to resist arrest.
“You have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario,” he told the Press-Republican.
A City Police press release issued early Thursday afternoon said the public was not at risk, however.
While observing the area, officers saw Evan leave the apartments with a duffle bag, police said.
Like Jacob, Evan was found to be in alleged possession of a 9mm pistol and body armor.
Evan was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
When police executed the search warrant for the car, they found a ski mask, duct tape, two swords, a large hunting knife and brass knuckles inside, police said.
And when they searched the apartment at 38 Adirondack Lane, they found multiple long guns, all of which were loaded, ammunition and magazines, police said.
HIGH SCHOOL ON LOCKDOWN
City Police stationed officers in the parking lot of nearby Plattsburgh High School and asked the school to take precautions, Racicot said.
The High School was on lockdown for about 10 minutes, a school official said.
Investigation continues and more charges are pending, police said.
Jacob and Evan are currently being held in the Plattsburgh Police Department station awaiting their arraignment in Plattsburgh City Court.
— Editor Lois Clermont contributed to this report.