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May 5—LAWRENCE — A raid at an auto body shop uncovered illegal drugs, guns and ammunition, more than $7,500 in cash and a variety of parts used to make untraceable "ghost guns," police said.
Police said they notified the state's Department of Children and Families after a 5-year-old child was found amid potentially dangerous items during the raid at The Little Monster Shop, 14 McFarlin Court,, according to police.
Police said a team of local, state and federal investigators went to the shop on Monday night to execute a search warrant. Authorities have been investigating whether Francis Wyatt, 39, who lives and works at the shop, had guns in his possession, according to a police report.
Wyatt does not have a license to carry a gun and was previously convicted of a felony charge, which prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition, police said.
As authorities entered the shop, a man "burst" out of a side entrance and tried to run away, the police report said. Edgardo Rodriguez, 41, of 35 Gill Ave., Methuen, was captured, however, and charged on five outstanding warrants, police said.
Police said items seized during the raid included:
— A plastic bag containing 179 grams of what investigators believe is cocaine, a digital scale with white powder reside, and a clear plastic bag with 23 1/2 white pills.
— $7,561 in cash believed to be proceeds from illegal drug sales.
— A loaded .22-caliber Magnum firearm with a defaced serial number.
— A duffle bag containing a variety of ammunition, including shotgun shells, live rounds and a speed loader.
— A variety of gun parts stored in the bottom drawer of a red tool chest. Such parts can be used to construct "ghost guns," which do not have serial numbers.
— A Glock 26 handgun with a muzzle suppressor.
Police said they closed down the business Monday night and placed a black cat and a pitbull dog found there in the care of the animal control officer.
Wyatt was arrested and charged with trafficking more than 100 grams of cocaine, three counts of illegal possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card, three counts of illegal possession of large capacity firearm or ammunition, reckless endangerment of a child, three counts of unlawful, improper storage of a firearm, defacing a firearm, and unlawful possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card.
He was held on $200,000 bail, according to court records.
Investigators in the case included officers assigned to the Lawrence Police Department gang unit, state police and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.