On February 6, 2015, I, Officer Tim Van Nostrand, was on duty, and assigned to uniform patrol in marked cruiser 871 (E1). At approximately 9:40am, I observed MA 1YK437 travel past me, westbound on Washington St.
Washington St, is a public way in the city of Somerville. As it passed, I observed an expired inspection sticker on the vehicle. I queried the registration through the RMV, and learned the vehicle was never inspected, and the registered owner had an active default warrant for traffic violations.
I activated my emergency equipment, and stopped the vehicle opposite 84 Washington St. Officer Mike Cabral (E2), and Devin Schneider (E4) responded as back up. I identified the operator as the registered owner, Deanna Garceau, via a Massachusetts ID card. Garceau did not possess a valid license to operate a motor vehicle. As I sat in my vehicle confirming information, I observed Garceau rifling through her purse on the passenger seat. Upon confirmation of the warrant, I ordered Garceau out of the vehicle, and placed her in handcuffs. Due to the vehicle being illegally parked and partially in the lane of travel, I requested a tow from Sgt. Costa. After the tow was approved, I performed a motor vehicle inventory, per department policy. During the course of my inventory, I located four cut up straws, one corner to a plastic bag, as well as two knotted up plastic bags. Based on my training and experience, all of these items are commonly used in the distribution and consumption of illegal narcotics. I returned to Garceau, and informed her of her Miranda Rights via a card I keep in my vest pocket. After acknowledging her Miranda rights, I asked her if there were any illegal narcotics in the vehicle. She stated no, and I informed her of the paraphernalia I had found. Again she stated she does not use drugs.
Before I went back to her vehicle, Garceau asked me to go into her purse and locate her debit card, so she could obtain bail money. I opened the purse and next to the debit card which possessed her name, I located a folded up McDonalds receipt. Inside the receipt i located an off-white/light brown powdery substance. I believed this substance to be heroin, a class A narcotic. I returned to Garceau and asked her what the substance was. She stated it is either Heroin or Cocaine, she was not sure.
I informed her she would be charged with Possession of Class A (94c/34), No Inspection Sticker (90/20), as well as her default warrant charges. Garceau was transported to the station by Officer Pavao in unit 200, where she was booked in the usual manner by Lt. Mulcahy. The powder substance will be sent to the lab for testing.
Officer Tim Van Nostrand
Somerville Police Dept.