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Cops Find Deadly Arsenal In Queens Apartment

Police last week arrested a College Point man suspected of posting racially offensive stickers throughout Northeast Queens, but the spreading of hate literature may have been the least of what Michael Sagginario had in store for his enemies.
Sagginario, 20, of 127th Street, was nabbed last Thursday after cops discovered an arsenal of weapons in his apartment, including a loaded AK-47 assault rifle, a box with an additional 260 rounds, two silencers, a zip gun, and a how-to bomb-making book. In addition, police said they found white-supremacist materials including Nazi marching songs, armbands, uniforms, combat helmets, and flags from the Third Reich.
Hate stickers, linked to the right-wing extremist group The National Alliance, and similar to the ones found plastered across the borough last month, were also found in his home. Charged with criminal weapons possession, a class-C felony, Sagginario was arraigned at Queens Criminal Court last Friday, and held without bail. Sagginarios hearing is scheduled for April 17. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.
"Crimes motivated by hate are to be condemned, and when they regrettably occur, they will be vigorously prosecuted and punished to the fullest," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Sagginario has been on probation since 1995 when, at the age of 15, he was arrested for blowing up a wind-shear alert system near Flushing Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration uses the alert to detect wind-shear conditions at both LaGuardia and Kennedy airports. He violated the terms of his probation in 1997, when he was stopped for driving through northern Queens screaming racial epitaphs against African-Americans and waving a Nazi flag.
In fact, it was a federal probation officer who noticed the hate literature during a routine probationary visit last week. A court order was immediately obtained to search Sagginarios home.
"Hate stickers were just a cover," said Congressman Joseph Crowley. "Something darker is lurking in our community. No one knows what actions this person may have been contemplating."
Last month, Crowley, along with state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, state Assembly members Nettie Mayersohn, Ann-Margaret Carrozza and Mark Weprin, and Tony Avella of the North Shore Anti-Graffiti Volunteers, formed the Anti-Hate Reward Program. The politicians offered a $100 reward to anyone providing information leading to the conviction of the offenders, on charges of graffiti vandalism.
"The message behind the National Alliance stickers is extremely dangerous," said Avella. "The fact that a loaded assault weapon and bomb-making literature were reportedly found only points out how dangerous these individuals, and this group can be."
Among the materials seized by the police was the "National Alliance Hand Book," the book "White Man Think Again," and the audio tapes of "The Turner Diaries," the novel said to have been the inspiration for the Oklahoma City bombing.
Stavisky, calling for hate crime legislation on a federal level, said, "Nobody needs an assault weapon in their living room. The first amendment stops with bomb-making equipment."
"Hate crimes represent the worst of society," said Ed Sedarbaum, associate director of the New York Office of the Anti-Defamation League. "They should be punished to a higher degree than other crimes because not only is there a victim of the crime, but the community also suffers."

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