A suspected gun trafficker and two associates were arrested early this morning in a sting operation after they allegedly plotted to commit a home invasion and robbery of a drug dealer in Malden who was not a legal citizen.
Robert C. Kenney, 56, Christopher P. Littlejohn, 30, and Ramone Arakelow, 34, all from Beverly, were arrested at 4:34 a.m. after they pulled over in a Lowe's parking lot on Route 99 in Saugus to allegedly carry out the crime, State Police said.
But the would-be victim never existed and was just part of a fictitious scenario created by authorities who had been investigating the three men for months. Kenney is suspected of selling seven illegal firearms in the Boston and North Shore areas, State Police said.
State Police, the FBI, the Lynn Police Department and other law enforcement officials were monitoring the three men as they made their way along Route 99 in Kenney's green and gray pickup truck.
A State Police helicopter was also tracking the truck. When the vehicle stopped at a Lowe's store in Saugus, allegedly to use that location as a staging area to prepare for the home invasion and robbery, authorities closed in and arrested the men.
Authorities found knives, a ski mask, duct tape, and paraphernalia indicating the men planned to pose as federal immigration agents during the home invasion, including a fluorescent jacket like those worn by police officers, emergency lights that could be mounted on a dashboard, and zip ties, used by police as handcuffs.
All three men face charges today in Lynn District Court of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Kenney may also face federal gun charges, State Police said.