Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Carrying a Firearm Without a License and Possession of Class D (Marijuana) With Intent to Distribute



May 25, 2015 at 10:22 p.m., while on duty, I observed a black Honda CR-V with Massachusetts registration 1CL679 traveling south on Central Street near the intersection of Highland Avenue in Somerville. Without signaling, the vehicle abruptly pulled onto the sidewalk in a hazardous manner.

I activated the blue lights on my unmarked cruiser and effected a stop. The driver quickly pulled into a poorly lit section of a nearby parking lot. From my cruiser, I could see a lot of movement inside the vehicle from the passengers in the back seat. It appeared that they were passing an unidentified item back and forth from one to another.

I instructed the operator to shut the ignition off via the public address system (P.A.) in my cruiser and awaited for backup. As I waited, two of the passengers exited the vehicle and stood outside the right passenger side, out of my view. They appeared to be hiding something on the floor of the vehicle in the front or rear of the right passenger side. I repeated my instructions for all the occupants to remain seated inside the vehicle, still using the public address system. They complied and sat back in the vehicle.

Somerville Officers Kevin Shackelford and Alan Monaco later arrived on scene to assist. Together, we approached the vehicle and observed four passengers and the driver. I recognized the individual seated in the left rear seat of the vehicle xxxxxx is a known felon who at times carried guns.

The operator was identified as Jose Pineda. The passengers were xxxxxxxx, Neris Calderon and xxxxxxxx. As previously noted, sat in the left rear passenger seat, xxxxxxxx sat in the middle seat and xxxxxx sat in the right rear passenger seat. Mr. Calderon sat in the front passenger seat.

Mr. Merino had a backpack in his lap and appeared extremely nervous. Based on the movements I observed when the vehicle was initially stopped, I ordered Vasquez and Merino out of the vehicle. Both individuals were searched for safety purposes. Officer Shackelford recovered a loaded handgun tucked in Merino’s waistband. He did not have a license to carry a firearm. The gun was a semi-auto, 40 Caliber Hi-Point, Model JCP (Serial number X7188447) with seven rounds in the magazine.

Officer Monaco searched the backpack and found small glassine baggies which contained a green leafy substance which appeared to be marijuana. I later searched Calderon and found five small glassine baggies containing the same green leafy substance found on Merino in his right front pocket. I also found a small folding knife with a brown handle and a three inch blade in his left front pocket. Based on my training and experience, I knew the packaging of the substance was consistent with it being sold or distributed.

A Registry query of Blanca revealed she was missing juvenile out of Chelsea, Massachusetts. She was promptly transported to Somerville Police headquarters where appropriate notifications were made to her family and the Department of Children and Families.

Based on the facts articulated in the above paragraphs, Jerson Marino was placed in custody and charged with the crimes of Carrying a Firearm Without a License and Possession of Class D (Marijuana) With Intent to Distribute. Neris Calderon was also arrested and charged with Possession of a Dangerous Weapon (Knife, Violation of a City Ordinance). The handgun, the knife, the Marijuana and one hundred and forty two dollars in cash found on Merino were all seized and tagged as evidence. A citation (R5381641) was issued to Mr. Pineda for Failure to Signal.

Respectfully submitted,

Detective Jonathan Thermidor, Badge #24

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