Two men convicted in 8-hour-long armed highway standoff in Wakefield in 2021

WAKEFIELD, Mass. — Two men charged in a tense, hours-long highway standoff on I-95 in Wakefield in 2021 have been found guilty of several charges, according to the district attorney.

Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer and Steven Anthony Perez will be sentenced in July.

Latimer was found guilty of unlawful possession of a large capacity weapon, unlawful possession of a large capacity feeding device, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a shotgun or rifle, improper storage of a rifle or shotgun near a minor, use or wearing body armor during a felony, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Perez was found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and use or wearing body armor during a felony.

“The defendants in this case disrupted multiple communities and jeopardized the safety of many residents who were traveling or intending to travel on a busy Fourth of July weekend,” said Middlesex District Attorney Ryan. “Both Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer and Steven Anthony Perez demonstrated a disregard for our laws and failed to comply with the directives of multiple police agencies on scene.”

“The law enforcement agencies that responded that day navigated a very difficult, long and highly publicized situation while ensuring that no one got hurt.” said Ryan.

The case dates back to July 3, 2021, when the men and two of their vehicles were located by State Police in the breakdown lane of I-95 in Wakefield wearing military style camouflage clothing and body armor.

Latimer was armed with an AR-style large capacity rifle and falsely claimed that he was the leader of an armed militia from Rhode Island, according to the district attorney.

The men claimed they were on their way from Rhode Island to “train” in Maine. Latimer and Perez were in the company of nine other individuals, who Latimer referred to as “his men,” according to the district attorney. When officers asked the defendants to put their weapons down, they refused, resulting in an eight-and-a-half hour long standoff.

The group referred to itself as the Rise of Moors.

All 11 males, one of whom was a 17-year-old juvenile, were from at least three states: New York, Michigan and Rhode Island.

They referred to themselves as a militia and said they adhered to “Moorish Sovereign Ideology,” said state police in 2021.

After their arrest, police seized three large capacity AR-style rifles from the defendants’ vehicles, a bolt-action rifle, a semi-automatic shotgun, two “drum” large capacity magazines capable of holding fifty rounds or more, dozens of thirty-plus round large capacity magazines and three semi-automatic pistols along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition in varying calibers, according to the district attorney

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