John Wachaga is frisked a Lowell police officer during his arrest on Gorham Street on Sunday on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm..SUN/ROBERT
John Wachaga is frisked a Lowell police officer during his arrest on Gorham Street on Sunday on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.. SUN/ROBERT MILLS

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LOWELL -- A 20-year-old Lowell man, who is free as he faces trial on charges that include armed assault with intent to murder a 16-year-old boy, was arrested Sunday in Lowell and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

Officers from the Lowell police Vice Unit conducted a motor-vehicle stop on Gorham Street near Ellsworth Street about 7 p.m. Details of the stop and arrest were not immediately available, but police at the scene said officers found a loaded .380 caliber handgun in the vehicle.

John Wachaga, 20, of 52 1/2 Huntington St., Lowell, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and operating after suspension, according to Lowell police arrest logs.

Wachaga was held Sunday night pending arraignment in Lowell District Court on Monday.

Wachaga is already facing charges of armed assault with intent to murder and armed assault with intent to rob in connection with the Jan. 20 shooting of a 16-year-old Lowell boy on East Merrimack St.

The 16-year-old survived with two gunshots to his leg. Jason Ruggs, 20, and Robert Loh, 19, both of Lowell, were also charged in connection with that incident. The case remains pending.

It was not immediately clear why Wachaga was free. He was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail at his arraignment on those charges in January.

Wachaga was also previously charged in connection with an incident outside the Englesby Intermediate School in Dracut in which a single gunshot was fired on Feb.


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21, 2012.

Wachaga and two other men were charged with carjacking, armed robbery, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling and intimidation of a witness in connection with the Dracut incident.

It was not immediately clear if the charges filed against Wachaga in connection with that incident are still pending.

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