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Federal charges dropped against man who had weapons, map of Fort Drum

Federal prosecutors on Thursday dropped weapon charges against a Virginia man who made national news in 2010 when he was found to have a large cache of weapons and a detailed map of Fort Drum in a New Jersey motel room.

Lloyd R. Woodson, 24, whose last known address was Reston, Va., was arrested Jan. 25, 2010, in Branchburg, N.J., when police found him with two semi-automatic rifles with defaced serial numbers, two bulletproof vests, a night-vision scope, a police scanner, a military-style backpack and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Mr. Woodson had been approached by police officers outside a convenience store because he was acting suspiciously. After a brief conversation with the officers, Mr. Woodson fled, but was caught after a brief pursuit. He was found to be concealing a semi-automatic weapon with four magazines of ammunition and was wearing a military-style bulletproof vest. The findings led to a search of his motel room, where the remaining arsenal and a Fort Drum map were located.

Somerset (N.J.) County and federal prosecutors both brought weapon charges. According to the Somerset County prosecutor’s office, Mr. Woodson was convicted June 5 following a four-week trial of second-degree attempted robbery, second-degree possession of a firearm for unlawful purpose, two counts each of third-degree unlawful possession of a rifle and fourth-degree possession of a defaced firearm, as well as fourth-degree possession of hollow-nose bullets and fourth-degree possession of large-capacity magazines. He was sentenced Sept. 28 in that case to 14½ years in a New Jersey prison.

He still faced a charge in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey of possessing firearms after previously having been convicted of a crime, but that charge was dismissed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox-Arleo at the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The judge’s order does not specify why the charge was dropped, beyond stating that “further prosecution of this charge is not in the interest of the United States at this time.” According to court documents, Mr. Woodson has a 1997 conviction for criminal possession of a weapon in Kings County.

It was initially believed that Mr. Woodson may be linked to terrorism, but that did not turn out to be the case. Court documents do not reveal any ties Mr. Woodson, who formerly served in the Navy, may have had to Fort Drum.

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