Former Gamer, Friend of Iowa Men Arrested on Weapons Charges Speaks Out

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Two Iowa men remain in a Boston jail after being arrested for weapons charges.

Kevin Norton, 18 and James Stumbo, 27 were arrested over the weekend after threats they made online towards the World Pokemon Championship in Boston.

A former gamer and friend of Stumbo and Norton said he was surprised to hear the two men were involved in such an elaborate plot.

“I was just in shock; I could not believe that they had the capabilities to do this,” Justin Lo of Des Moines said.

Lo met Stumbo and Norton years ago while attending a weekly Pokemon league at Mayhem Collectibles in Ames.

“I would play against them and we just got to know each other over the past four years,” Lo said

Lo said the three got close and ended up traveling to Pokemon events across the Midwest.

“They were normal guys, road trips with them were fun and nothing stood out to me in my travels with them as alarming,” Lo said.

Boston police say over the weekend Stumbo and Norton were arrested after a follow up on the online threats. Inside their vehicle, police found two guns, a knife and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

“They had enough ammo to hurt many innocent people at an event where there are parents and children, I was just in disbelief."

Lo said Stumbo and Norton never talked about guns or violence and he was surprised they would go to such extremes.

“Whether they were at odds with the Pokemon community or they wanted to get revenge on people they felt did them wrong, this was definitely not worth it," Lo said.

Stumbo and Norton are both being held without bond on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, ammunition, and high-capacity rifle.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 1.


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