(NECN: Amy Sinclair) - The police department in Portland, Maine is downplaying gang activity in the city, in response to a Los Angeles Times report that connects drugs and a gun bought in Maine to the Boston Marathon bombings and its aftermath.
The report said the gun used by Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the Watertown, Massachusetts shootout has been traced back to a Maine gang.
According to the serial number, the 9-mm semi-automatic weapon was purchased at a Cabelas in Scarborough and sold to a Portland man named Danny Sun, who later sold it to Biniam Ttsegai, the L.A. Times reports.
It's not known how Tsarnaev got the gun from him, but the L.A. Times article said authorities believe Tsarnaev might have been connected to drug gangs in Portland and used the money to fund trips to Chechnya, were he was reportedly radicalized.
Portland Police Chief Mike Sauschuck said the news report's claims of violent gang activity in Portland are inaccurate.
"What we do have and I will acknowledge is the presence of loosely affiliated criminal organizations that are primarily focused on the drug trade," said Sauschuck. "But I don't believe we have an ongoing issue with violent criminal gangs in the city of Portland."
Neither the police chief, the FBI spokesperson in Maine nor the U.S. Attorney's office would comment on whether Tsarnaev had any ties to Maine.