Muhammad and Malvo to Be Arraigned, Reports Say

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT

( - John Muhammad and Lee Malvo, the two men who were arrested early Thursday morning at a highway rest stop, are being arraigned at the federal courthouse in Baltimore, Md., although authorities have not confirmed that the charges stem from the serial sniper attacks.

Muhammad will be arraigned on federal firearms charges stemming from a restraining order taken out by his ex-wife. Malvo is reportedly being arraigned as a material witness, because he has refused to cooperate with authorities.

The men are widely believed to be suspects in the series of shootings that killed ten people in the Washington area, but as of midday, they had not been charged with murder.

Around 3:30 a.m. Thursday, police surrounded two "persons of interest" who were sleeping in a car (an older-model Caprice) at an I-70 rest stop west of Frederick, Md. Sources told reporters were Muhammad (formerly John Williams, before he became a Muslim) and 17-year-old Malvo, whom Muhammad reportedly considers a stepson.

Malvo is said to be from Jamaica. Press reports say the Chevrolet Caprice that police found them in has been impounded, and inside they found a Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle, scope, and tripod, as well as a hole in the trunk of the car.

Reports said police also found a flash suppresser, a device that attaches to the end of a barrel and is designed to hide the muzzle flash, which might explain why witnesses have said they never saw a flash during the shootings.

Reports said police believe the hole is like a trap door where the suspects could fold down the back seat, put the gun barrel through the hole and fire the weapon without being seen.

Muhammad was in the army until recently -- stationed at Ft. Lewis, Wash., where sniper training is conducted. He is said to be a Gulf War veteran and was a machinist who worked on Army vehicles. Some reports say he was a demolitions expert.

The case has connections to Tacoma, Wash., and Montgomery, Ala.

A press conference has been called for 6pm Eastern Time in Rockville, Md., at the sniper task force command center.

See Earlier Story:
Two Men Arrested in Sniper Case (Oct. 24, 2002)

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