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Police search a car and find cocaine — and a US Army rocket launcher

A police detective says he was unnerved to find a U.S. Army rocket launcher along with crack cocaine when searching a suspicious truck in central Massachusetts.

Det. Alex Sinni from the Sutton Police Department told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his first concern after finding the M190 launcher under the backseat of the truck was for everybody’s safety.

“Once we were able to determine it was unloaded, we secured it,” Sinni said. “And then we searched the rest of the vehicle to make sure there were no explosives or rockets, or anything crazy like that.”

Sinni said the driver of the truck was “pretty vague” about how he had got his hands on the launcher and what he planned to do with it.

“I couldn’t really get a straight answer about it,” Sinni said.

The M190 is a training model of the M72 light anti-tank weapon that was first used in the Vietnam War era. The U.S. Army said it needed more time to look into the situation before providing comment.

The truck was parked outside a Red Roof Inn in Sutton, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Boston, and the detective decided to search it after watching the driver sitting in the vehicle for about 30 minutes. Sinni said he thought it was “a bit weird” that the driver was parked to the side of the hotel away from the rooms for so long and hadn’t gone inside the main hotel entrance.

When he went over to talk to the driver, Sinni said, he spotted some drug paraphernalia.

Sinni and another officer detained the man and searched the truck. They found the rocket launcher hidden among some clothing beneath the backseat.

After doing some research on what to do with a rocket launcher, police said, they contacted the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and turned it over to them.

The driver was charged with possession of crack cocaine and possession/control of an incendiary device.

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