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  • Vicent Lenza, 24, was arrested following an FBI and Nashua police raid of 47 Gilson Road, Nashua. Agents found drugs, assault rifles and other weapons inside, authorities said.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel
    Police and FBI officials at 47 Gilson Road on Friday morning, March 30.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nashua man charged in FBI raid is a gun collector entrapped by a police informant, attorney argues

NASHUA – A man arrested after a police raid on his Gilson Road home is a gun collector who was entrapped by a police informant, his attorney said Monday.

Vincent Lenza, 24, of 47 Gilson Road, is charged with one count of unlawful sale of a controlled drug and one count of unlawful sale of a firearm to a convicted felon, police said.

Both charges are felonies, police said.

Lenza was arrested Friday during the raid by FBI agents and Nashua police. Agents seized 14 weapons, including three AK-47 assault rifles, a Tec 9 submachine gun, a 12-gauge shotgun and various handguns, police said. Agents also recovered 2,600 rounds of ammunition, police said.

A police SWAT team surrounded the home, and three nearby homes were evacuated before the raid.

“This case sounds much bigger than it is,” Lenza’s attorney, Charles Keefe, said Monday in Nashua district court.

Lenza collects guns, coins and other items, Keefe said. The ammo, weapons and weapon cases were part of that collection, Keefe said.

Lenza was entrapped by a police informant who approached him three times begging to buy a weapon in order to “protect his family,” Keefe said.

Police allege that after the gun sale, the same informant purchased marijuana from his client, Keefe said.

Marijuana and Ecstasy were seized from Lenza’s home, said Nashua Police prosecutor Evelyn King.

King asked Judge Michael Ryan to continue Lenza’s bail of $50,000 cash only.

Lenza admitted to police that he traded guns for drugs in New Jersey, King said.

However, Ryan set bail at $5,000 cash.

Lenza has no prior criminal record, and guns he obtained six years ago in New Jersey were obtained legally, Keefe said.

Lenza, a graduate of Nashua High School South with strong ties to the area, is neither a flight risk nor a threat to the community, Keefe said.

Patrick Meighan can be reached at 594-6518 or pmeighan@nashuatelegraph.com.