On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, I was working in marked unit East-1. At approximately 1:20 P.M. I was en route to self initiate myself on a directed patrol of the Home Depot. The purpose
of this directed patrol is because the Home Depot is a notorious “hot spot” for narcotic related offenses. While en route to the Home Depot, I was travelling west on Grand Union Blvd from the area of Foley Street towards Revolution Drive. Directly in front of my cruiser was a black Toyota Avalon bearing Massachusetts registration 2CV628. I randomly queried this vehicle registration via my cruiser laptop. The operator of this Toyota kept looking over his shoulder multiple times and visibly made eye contact with me. The Toyota and I stopped at the red light behind one another. The operator of the Toyota peered over his shoulder at me once again and immediately moved into the right hand lane as if he was going to make a right turn onto Revolution Drive. Based on the operator’s nervousness, evasive lane change upon police presence, and the notorious criminal reputation of this area I further inquired on the registered owners criminal history. The operator of the vehicle quickly turned right onto Revolution Drive towards one entrance of the Home Depot parking lot.
As the Toyota drove on Revolution Drive, I entered the Home Depot parking lot through the rear of the store and started my directed patrol. I would note, this was my fourth directed patrol of the Home Depot this day. As I drove through the front of the store, I could see two vehicles meeting at the farthest corner away from the entrance towards Mystic Avenue, near the large sign for Home Depot and Circuit City. From my point of view, one of the vehicles appeared to be the black Toyota Avalon I had just seen on Grand Union Blvd. The Toyota parked directly next to a brown colored motor vehicle. I would note there was ample parking closer to the store, however these vehicles met in this corner of the lot farthest away from where patrons or workers could see them. It was obvious these vehicles made an attempt to hide themselves from the public. As I drove closer to the two vehicles I found that one vehicle was in fact the Toyota Avalon registered to Mr. Lee and the other was a brown Mercedes bearing Massachusetts registration 565KH2. It appeared the operator of the black Toyota left his vehicle running and jumped into the passenger side of the brown Mercedes. In my training and experience, I believed that a street level narcotics transaction was taking place. I immediately called Officer Capasso, marked unit East-4, via cellular phone and explained what I was encountering. Officer Capasso stated he was in the area and would respond immediately. I know these transactions to be very quick. Because I was in a marked cruiser, I drove close enough to the brown Mercedes in order to get the attention of both occupants. The operator of the vehicle, later identified as the owner, Mr. David Cormier, looked over his left shoulder, opened his eyes in an excited manner, and put his left hand over his forehead as if he believed he was in trouble. Mr. Cormier then tapped the passenger multiple times and gave the symbolic movement to leave the vehicle and alerted the passenger to my presence. As I could now see both occupants were nervous of my presence, I left this area and positioned my cruiser in a manner that allowed me to maintain a visual of both occupants without them seeing me.
Within a minute of my reposition, I could see the passenger exit the brown Mercedes and attempt to enter the Toyota Avalon. As the passenger turned in my direction, I could see it was the owner of the Toyota Avalon, Mr. Lee. As Mr. Lee looked at me he immediately walked away from his vehicle, while it was running, and walked in an excited and fast paced manner towards the front door of the Home Depot. As Mr. Lee was going towards the front entrance, I noticed he appeared to be walking faster. The brown Mercedes was now reversing out of the parking spot and attempted to leave the area. At this time, I radioed Somerville Police dispatch and stated I was in the Home Depot parking lot with two suspicious motor vehicles. I explained I would be attempting to stop one vehicle, the brown Mercedes, on Revolution Drive and Mystic Avenue for a threshold inquiry. I then explained that the second operator was a black male, wearing a black puffy jacket, gray sweat pants, and black, white, and yellow sneakers going towards the entrance of the Home Depot on foot, leaving his vehicle idling, unattended. Officer Morreira, who was working a paid road detail in full police uniform, only a few hundred feet away from my location, arrived on scene. Marked units East-3, Officer Sousa, and West-5, Officer VanNostrand, also responded. As I gave the description of Mr. Lee, Detective Faria, in an unmarked cruiser, was in the immediate area and started looking for Mr. Lee along with marked unit East-4, Officer Capasso, Sector-East, Officer DeOliveira, and Community Police Officer St. Hillaire. As I approached the operator of the brown Mercedes, Mr. Cormier, I asked for his license and registration. Mr. Cormier appeared nervous as his leg was shaking and stuttering his words asking what he did wrong. I explained to Mr. Cormier that I believe he was just involved in a drug transaction to which Mr. Cormier did not deny. Due to his increasingly nervous behavior, I asked Mr. Cormier to exit the vehicle and performed a pat frisk for weapons. I asked Mr. Cormier if he had any drugs or weapons on his person to which he stated he did not. I read Mr. Cormier his rights pursuant to Miranda from a card I keep in my uniform pocket. Mr. Cormier acknowledged he understood everything. While reading Mr. Cormier his rights I found that marked unit 200, Officer Guillen was also in the area with Officer Perrone looking for the second suspect. I asked Mr. Cormier who was the passenger in his vehicle with him. Mr. Cormier replied, “A friend of mine.” I asked his full name. Mr. Cormier stated he believed his friends name was Antonio and was unsure of his last name but after a minute stated he believed the last name to be Lee. I then asked Mr. Cormier what they had been doing. Mr. Cormier stated he had just finished having lunch in the car with the passenger, Mr. Lee. I asked what the two ate for lunch. Mr. Cormier then stated they had a sausage from the stand near the Home Depot and pulled over to eat together. At this time, I informed Mr. Cormier that I had just seen Mr. Lee travelling into the Home Depot lot only a few minutes before I stopped his vehicle. I then asked Mr. Cormier if they were really eating lunch together. Mr. Cormier did not answer. Officer Capasso, who now arrived to the parking lot where the Toyota Avalon was idling, checked to see if the vehicle was secured. Please see Officer Capasso’s supplemental report for further information.
While speaking to Mr. Cormier, Detective Faria radioed me asking if Mr. Lee had black, white, and yellow sneakers. I informed Detective Faria that he did in fact and that the suspects name was Antonio. Detective Faria stated he believed the suspect was in the rear of the Home Depot at this time as the other units responded to his location. Please see Detective Faria’s supplemental report for further information. As Mr. Cormier heard that we had Mr. Lee stopped, I asked Mr. Cormier if he had any drugs on his person once again. Mr. Cormier stated that he did not have anything on his person. I then asked Mr. Cormier if he had any drugs in his vehicle. Mr. Cormier stated he did not know. I informed Mr. Cormier that I would be checking his vehicle as I believed he had just purchased drugs from Mr. Lee. Mr. Cormier did not say anything but looked down to the ground as if he believed he was in trouble. As I went to the driver’s side seat, I found a clear plastic baggie containing a white powdered substance I believe to be cocaine, a class B narcotic. This cocaine was found in the driver’s side seat compartment in front of where the driver sits. I explained to Mr. Cormier that I found the cocaine and he nodded his head up and down as if he understood what I found. Mr. Cormier was placed into the mobile detention unit, 200, driven by Officer Guillen. As Mr. Cormier was secured, I responded to Mr. Lee’s location in the rear of Home Depot and found that Officer Capasso found a large amount of money on Mr. Lee’s person. Officer Capasso stated he also found a mason jar full of individually packed baggies of marijuana and a knife belonging to Mr. Lee. I asked Mr. Lee, who was read his Miranda rights by Officer Capasso, what he was doing in the Home Depot. Mr. Lee stated he was not doing anything and he was just leaving. I then informed him that he left his vehicle running in the parking lot. Mr. Lee had five one hundred dollar bills separated in his top jacket pocket while he handed several bands of money in his sweat pants which was approximately over two thousand dollars. I asked Mr. Lee who the operator of the brown Mercedes was to which he stated he did not know what I was talking about. I stated that the operator of the brown Mercedes stated he was a good friend of his according to Mr. Cormier however Mr. Lee denied this. Mr. Lee refused to answer any questions at this point. At this time, I requested a tow for both motor vehicles incident to arrest.
I informed Somerville dispatch that I would be towing the vehicles to the Somerville Police Garage for further inspection. I requested a drug detection K-9 respond to the Somerville Police Station. I was informed that Everett Police would be sending one of their drug detection K-9 dogs. As the brown Mercedes was being towed, Officers VanNostrand, Sousa, and Morreira found stacks of cash in a jacket pocket located in the rear of the vehicle. The money was separated with four banded stacks of one hundred dollar bills and one lone hundred dollar bill with a band laying lousily in the pocket. It appears that Mr. Cormier may have taken whatever money he needed to purchase the cocaine from a banded stack and gave it to Mr. Lee, thus leaving the un-banded currency. Officer Sousa followed the brown Mercedes to the Police Station while Officer DeOliveira followed the Toyota.
Everett Police Officer Rizzo along with K-9 Jugo arrived on scene to the Police garage and started a detection of both vehicles. During Officer Rizzo’s and K-9 Jugo’s detection of the Toyota, K-9 Jugo did not alert to any particular area but kept sniffing at the area of the driver’s side seat. K-9 Jugo kept going back to the area of the driver’s side seat multiple times during the detection. During a detection of the brown Mercedes, K-9 Jugo immediately alerted to the area of the driver’s side front compartment where the cocaine was found. After K-9 Jugo and Officer Rizzo completed their deployment, Detective McNally field tested the cocaine. The results of the test showed that the white powdered substance was in fact cocaine. It was also preliminary weighed at approximately 8.5 grams. The amount of cocaine Mr. Cormier possessed matched a quantity of money Mr. Lee had separated in his jacket from the rest of his money. Mr. Lee and Mr. Cormier were both transported to Somerville Police Headquarters via marked unit 200.