On Friday (Feb. 10), Fox News reported that 55-year-old Robert Ivarson was recently sentenced up to nine years in prison for racially harassing his neighbors. The official announcement was made by District Attorney Marian Ryan. The Lexington, Massachusetts man also pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to criminal harassment, a criminal civil rights violation and more than 100 weapons charges.
In 2016, Ivarson was arrested for racist acts against his Black neighbors. The family, who had just moved into the area from Haiti, told officials banana peels were found on their property at least 30 to 40 times over the course of several months. Police officers even witnessed him tossing the fruit onto the residents’ land ahead of his arrest. He has since been ordered not to have any contact with the family and must undergo a mental health evaluation as well as any recommended treatment.
“Mr. Ivarson targeted his neighbors because of their race. His repeated throwing of banana peels into their driveway was terrorizing and caused them to feel unsafe in their own home,” the district attorney revealed in a statement. In both January and October 2017, officials conducted legal raids of his home in which more than 70 guns, including handguns, assault rifles, an Uzi, large-capacity magazines and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition were found. Massachusetts authorities also discovered Confederate, KKK and Nazi paraphernalia during the search.
Ryan added, “This case reflects our unwavering commitment to actively prosecuting those who intend to intimidate and threaten members of our communities because of their race. When someone who commits civil rights violations, at the same time, illegally possesses high-capacity firearms, they pose a substantial threat to the safety of the community. As we continue our work to remove unlawfully possessed firearms from our streets we will aggressively use enforcement as a tool to hold those who violate the Commonwealth’s gun laws accountable.”