The following is a brief summary of the incident. It does not contain every minute detail of the arrest.
On 7/10/15 while assigned to the Somerville Police Vice/Narcotics Unit, Detective Capasso and I were operating an unmarked vehicle in the Assembly Square area. Our attention was drawn to a dark color Toyota Avalon, occupied twice. This vehicle was traveling in excessive speed in the area of Mystic Ave. We followed the vehicle down Mystic Avenue where it took a right turn onto Middlesex Avenue. The operator immediately adjusted his speed at the sight of a marked cruiser that was assisting a disabled motor vehicle. We could observe the operator repeatedly looking toward that marked cruiser’s location. The vehicle continued on Middlesex Avenue where it took a left turn onto Cummings Street.
We observed the Avalon pull out of a parking spot on Cummings Street, drive past the 99 Restaurant, and take a left turn into the rear of the parking lot. We quickly made a U-turn on Middlesex Avenue and a right turn onto an adjacent road that offers an unobstructed view of the 99 Restaurant parking lot . From this location, we observed the Avalon stop in the rear of the 99 Restaurant parking lot. Within 20 seconds of the vehicle stopping, we noticed Mr. James Coco approach the vehicle as he gave a quick visual scan of the area. He then entered the rear compartment on the driver’s side. Shortly after, we observed the Avalon reverse out of the parking spot, and pull up to the front door of the restaurant where Mr. Coco exited the vehicle. Detective Capasso had prior knowledge of two active warrants in WMS for this individual.
Based upon our training and experience, and observations of Mr. Coco quickly entering and exiting the motor vehicle after a meaningless ride, in addition to the fact that he had two warrants for his arrest (one of which was for possession of a Class B drug), we decided to approach him and conduct a threshold inquiry. As we approached and identified ourselves as police officers by displaying our badges, Mr. Coco quickly turned away and used his right hand to insert an unknown object into his mouth. At that moment, I ordered him to stop and to “Spit it out.” Mr. Coco refused to comply with my requests and was subsequently taken to the ground in an attempt to prevent him from swallowing any possible evidence. He actively resisted, but Detective Capasso and I successfully handcuffed him and called for the wagon to have him transported to the police station. We read him his rights pursuant to Miranda and asked if he wished to speak with us. Mr. Coco replied “Yes.” I asked what he bought from the two occupants in the Avalon. Mr. Coco denied having been in the Avalon. I then informed him that I observed him entering and exiting the vehicle after a short ride in the parking lot. Mr. Coco stated “The runner was trying to sell me some dope, but I did not buy it because it was too weak, it was garbage.” We then asked where did they store the drug? Mr. Coco replied “the driver showed me one bag that he took out from a Pringles can.”
Subsequent to Mr. Coco’s statement, Detective Capasso contacted the area car with the plate number of the Avalon, and direction of flight. Officer Van Nostrand assigned to marked unit East 1, located the vehicle and initiated a motor vehicle stop in the area of Mystic Avenue and Wheatland Street where the two individuals were detained and later identified as Mr. Angel G. Borrero, the registered owner/operator and Mr. Jesse Batista, the passenger. Both individuals were given Miranda, and placed under arrest for the following charges:
Angel Borrero – Conspiracy to violate drug law, possession with intent to distribute heroin (20 bags of a brown powdery substance believed to be heroin – preliminary weight 10.5 grams), possession with intent to distribute Suboxone (1 pill).
Jesse Batista – conspiracy to violate drug law, and being knowingly present where heroin is kept;
James Coco was arrested under the two default warrants, and also charged with conspiracy to violate drug law.
Det. Guerdy Legros
Somerville Police Dept.