On October 16, 2014, I (Officer Mark Nevin, #300) was in full uniform working in my assigned marked cruiser (East 1). At approximately 4:20 PM Somerville Dispatch sent Officer C. Collette (East
4) and me to Cross Street and Pearl Street to investigate a report of a possible street level drug transaction. The reporting person said that she observed a heavy-set white woman and two white men on the corner and the woman was counting pills. Officer C. Collette and Detective K. Shackelford were already on-scene when I arrived. The two men were sitting on the sidewalk and the woman was standing at the corner, which is directly across the street from the East Somerville Elementary School.
As I walked from my cruiser to the corner, I observed Officer C. Collette speaking with Ms. Shea. Once I reached the corner I heard her saying something to the affect that she did not have any pills or anything else on her person. Then she remembered that she had a knife in her purse and she pulled it out of her purse to show us. Detective Shackelford took possession of the knife who in turned handed it to Officer C. Collette, who measured the knife to determine the blade’s length. He found that the knife blade exceeded the legal length by Somerville City Ordinance. On those grounds alone, I had probable cause to arrest Ms. Shea. I asked Ms. Shea for permission to search her purse and she held it open as she handed it to me. I asked her if there were any pills or dangerous items in the purse, to which she said there was not. The first thing I noticed when she handed me the spread-open bag was a locked money bag. I asked her what was in it. She said it contained her regular liquid methadone treatments.
I asked her to unlock the bag, which she did. At first glance I found two script bottles with various pills, the Methadone she mentioned, and several envelopes with various amounts of bills and coins in them. One of the bottles still had its label intact that showed the medication was for a male and contained Clonazepam. The other bottle was clear without a label and contained approximately 60 pills of various colors. Ms. Shea volunteered to Det. K. Shackelford that the pills were all Klonopin from different manufacturers. Based on the information provided by Ms. Shea and the prescription pill bottle that was not in her name; and the knife, I had probable cause to arrest her. I asked Officer C. Collette to take Ms. Shea into custody.