The Ulster County District Attorney’s Office is recommending time in state prison for Connor Chargois, a Saugerties High School student who was caught, police said, with a cache of illegal guns and ammunition in his basement in February after making threatening social media posts. Ulster County Assistant District Attorney Mike Kavanagh said that the case has been adjourned to Sept. 6.
“I envy Eric and Dylan [the Columbine shooters],” Connor wrote in a Snapchat message on February 21 that was shared with school administrators and Saugerties detectives. “It must have been so f—ing fun. They had the right f—ing idea. I’m so full of rage anymore [sic]. Nothing f—ing matters anymore.”
Both 18-year-old Connor Chargois and his father Bruce, 58, of Sawyerkill Terrace, were both charged on Feb. 27 for felony third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, which could get both a maximum of seven years in state prison. Bruce faces an additional misdemeanor charge of obstructing governmental administration; police said he hid guns within arcade machines at his workplace, Greco Amusement Company, after both he and his son denied owning weaponry in an initial interview with police.
Bruce Chargois admitted to the deceit after the pair were separated and interrogated in different rooms, police said. Ultimately, with the assistance of the county District Attorney’s Office and state police, detectives uncovered “a fully automatic 9mm Uzi [submachine gun] and an AR-15 [assault rifle],” as well as “a quantity of ammunition of varying calibers, homemade knives, machine-fabricated gun parts, a prototype of a firearm that Connor Chargois had admitted to manufacturing in the basement of the house and a number of completed firearms in both .22-caliber and 9 mm capacities,” police chief Joseph Sinagra said back in February.
“This is a very unique situation—thank God,” said Kavanagh.
Connor Chargois was able to post $10,000 bail, and has been on pretrial release for six months. Bruce Chargois was released on his own recognizance. An order of protection was issued on behalf of the school, prohibiting Connor from stepping foot on the grounds.
The two have paid weekly visits to the Ulster County Probation Department, where officers have been amassing a pre-plea report, which consists of interviews with the accused parties, thorough background checks and interviews with their associates. Once compiled, the probation department gives the information and makes a sentencing recommendation to County Court Judge Donald Williams. According to Kavanagh, the pair “have been doing everything they’re supposed to do.”
Kavanagh said the two’s lawyers, Cappy Weiner and Tom Melanson, will be in court early next month for a follow-up conference.
“I don’t know whether they’ll plea or elect to go to trial,” said Kavanagh. “They will not be offered misdemeanors.”