Sheriffs: Woman arrested at air base had guns in car

Police charged Nancy Genovese, 49, of Quogue, with Police charged Nancy Genovese, 49, of Quogue, with third-degree criminal trespass at the Air National Guard base in Westhampton Beach. Genovese was arraigned in Southampton Justice Court on a third-degree criminal trespass charge. She was ordered held on $50,000 bail. According to police, she legally had an XM-15 assault rifle and a shot gun along with a cache of ammunition in her vehicle. Since she had these weapons legally, no additional charges were filed, police said. (SCPD Photo/Aug. 3, 2009) Photo Credit: Handout

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A Quogue woman remained in custody Monday on a trespassing charge after law enforcement officers found a shotgun, an assault rifle and a cache of ammunition in the front seat of her car, parked just outside the grounds of the Air National Guard base in Westhampton Beach, authorities said.

Nancy Genovese, 53, was arrested Thursday night after Air National Guard officials called the Suffolk County sheriffs' office to report that she was "taking pictures of both the air base and surrounding airport property," sheriffs said in a news release.

Genovese, of 9 Lakewood Ave., was arraigned Friday in Southampton Justice Court on a third-degree criminal trespass charge. She was ordered held on $50,000 bail.

Genovese has not made bail as of Monday morning and was still being held at the county jail in Riverhead, a corrections department worker said. Her next court proceeding is scheduled for Friday.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Department of Homeland Security were advised of the incident and are launching their own investigation, authorities said.

Genovese was seen at the air field taking pictures on previous occasions over the past few weeks and was warned to stay away, said Undersheriff Joseph T. Caracappa.

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On one of those prior occasions, "She had wandered on the property, looking around, and was approached by staff at the Air National Guard," Caracappa said. "She was asking them about containers on the property, and they said, 'We can't tell you that,' and asked her to leave."

But she was seen and recognized on the property again Thursday evening by an off-duty Southampton Town police officer, and upon arrival Deputy Sheriff Robert Carlock made the arrest, officials said.

In the front seat of her vehicle officers found a shotgun with about 250 shotgun shells, and an XM-15 assault rifle with more than 250 rounds of ammunition, Caracappa said.

Genovese, a divorced, unemployed mother of three, has no known record of criminal behavior, and is not listed on any security watch lists, Genovese said. The weapons in her vehicle were legally registered, he said.

Genovese's actions during her arrest and during the arraignment appeared somewhat erratic, Caracappa said, and she is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation while at the Suffolk County jail.

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The 106 Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard that is based there at the general aviation Gabreski Airport has various aircraft there that are used for search and rescue operations.

"They're our military, protecting us," Caracappa said, "so we're obviously protecting them."

With Joseph Mallia

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