Prosecutors hope to know soon about more possible charges against Ciccolo
SPRINGFIELD — Federal prosecutors said they're "hopeful" they will know by February if additional charges will be filed against alleged terror suspect Alexander Ciccolo.
Ciccolo, 23, of Adams, currently faces charges of illegal weapons possession and assault after he accepted a small cache of weapons from an FBI informant on July 4.
Those charges could be the tip of a much larger legal iceberg as investigators comb through large amounts of evidence including hundreds of hours worth of recorded calls Ciccolo has made while he's been held without bail at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island.
"From what we've heard, (Ciccolo) continues to make statements relevant to the case," said Assistant U.S. District Attorney Deepika Bains Shukla.
Ciccolo is accused of hatching a plan to attack a college campus with firearms and homemade explosives and broadcast the executions of non-Muslim students on the Internet. He allegedly enlisted the aid of the FBI informant to help secure the weapons to carry it out.
Ciccolo did not appear at a brief status conference held Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield before U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Robertson.
Shukla said there is also a great deal of evidence stored on computers seized from Ciccolo's apartment following his arrest.
In court filings, prosecutors listed photos taken in Ciccolo's apartment and in the home of his mother among the evidence it provided to the defense.
Ciccolo's attorney, David Hoose said, based on that, he had no reason to think his client's mother is considered part of the investigation.
Hoose has described the relationship between Ciccolo and his mother as very close.
Also among the evidence is surveillance video and receipts from a July 3 trip to the North Adams Walmart during which Ciccolo allegedly purchased a pressure cooker he intended to craft into an explosive, similar to those used in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Hoose did acknowledge that recent world events such as the terrorist attacks in San Bernadino and Paris were "obviously not helpful," in mounting a defense and securing an impartial jury, if the case goes to trial.
"For obvious reasons, we all wish these things didn't happen. But when you're in the position that I am in defending Mr. Ciccolo, it goes double. It makes it very difficult," Hoose said.
Shukla said it should be clear by a scheduled Feb. 10 status hearing whether the government would be seeking additional charges and what those would be.
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