Real Life Somerville Police Stories:

On Thursday March 31st 2016, I, Officer D’Amelio was in full uniform assigned to marked cruiser unit 784 (E4) for the Somerville Police Department. At approximately 1:15 AM I observed a blue motor vehicle turn on to Memorial Rd. from Temple St. without using a turn signal. The vehicles tail light lenses were also tinted, obscuring the vehicles brake lights. Both Temple St. and Memorial Rd. are public ways within the City of Somerville.


        The blue motor vehicle was bearing Massachusetts registration number 6WLV50. Due to the operator failing to signal and obscured tail light lenses, I initiated a motor vehicle stop by activating my blue lights and siren. The vehicle came to rest in the parking lot of 30 Memorial Rd. I queried the vehicles registration number utilizing the CJIS Web application on my MDT. The vehicle came back active to a blue 2002 Acura SRX registered to a corporation- XXXXX. As I approached the vehicle, I observed that there were three male occupants. I identified the operator at XXXXX. I observed Franklin Argueta sitting in the back seat. I advised XXXXX why I stopped him and requested his personal/ vehicle information. Through conversation with XXXXX I could smell a strong pungent odor emanating from the interior of the vehicle. Based on my training and experience, the odor I smelled was consistent to the odor of raw marijuana. I asked XXXXX if there happened to be any marijuana in the vehicle, to which he replied “no, we just smoked at a friend’s house before we left.” While I was at the window of the vehicle, I also observed green leafy flakes on the front passenger’s shirt and pants, which I believed may have been marijuana residue. I returned to my vehicle to begin processing a uniform citation for the operator of the vehicle. At this time, Investigator Granitsas (U93) and Ofc. Lorenti (E1) responded to my location to provide assistance with the stop.


        Both Officer Lorenti and Investigator Granitsas positioned themselves on the passenger side of the vehicle. While they were speaking to both passengers both Investigator Granitsas and Officer Lorenti observed the back seat passenger moving around continuously and what appeared as if he was attempting to conceal something in the rear pocket of the front passenger seat. Investigator Granitsas asked the passenger to sit back in the seat, when he observed a clear glassine bag containing a leafy green substance. Investigator Granitsas informed me of the bag which he believed that it contained marijuana and was in plain view. The plastic bags were partially bulging the rear seat pocket and it appeared that the bag may have contained more than one ounce of the substance, which lead me to order all occupants out of the vehicle to further investigate.


        I reached into the rear pocket of the front passenger seat to discover two, clear glassine bags containing a leafy green substance with characteristics consistent to marijuana. I also found a third glassine bag containing multiple dollar bills of various denominations and four white pills. ‘XANAX’ was marked on the face of the four white pills. Xanax is identified as a class C drug under Massachusetts general laws. The white pills were tightly wrapped in what appeared to be the corner of a glassine bag with the top ripped off. Based on my training and experience it is common for individuals who distribute and package illicit drugs in this manner. For currency there was 6- twenty dollar bills, 2- ten dollar bills, and 2- five dollar bills amounting to $150. The money was found in a ruffled and crumpled manner which is also an indicator of street level drug transactions.


        The odor that I smelled when I initially approached the vehicle was the same to the odor of the contents of the two bags containing the leafy green substance. As I was removing these bags from the back seat, I saw what appeared to be a handle to a knife under the front passenger seat, the handle was sticking out towards the back seat. I removed the knife and my initial estimate of the blade length was at least five inches, which is in violation of the City of Somerville’s weapons ordinance of two and a half inches. I asked the occupants to whom it belonged to and no one replied. Mr. Argueta the replied, ” I know I don’t have to say anything to you”, to which I replied “you are correct you don’t if you choose not to.”


        The front seat passenger was identified as YYYYY and the rear passenger was positively identified as Franklin Argueta. Through my previous professional interactions with Mr. Argueta, it was not uncommon for him to posses some amount of marijuana on his persons. He has also been involved in violent crimes in the past and known to at times carry weapons. Officer Lorenti and I continued to search the vehicle for any additional weapons. While doing so I discovered another clear glassine bag containing the same leafy green substance as the other two bags I already discovered. The bag was found in the glove box located on the passenger side of the vehicle along with two empty mason jars containing small flakes of the same leafy green substance. There was also two digital scales found in the back seat of the vehicle located next to the knife. All contraband discovered was seized and will be filed into evidence at the Somerville Police Station.


        XXXXX admitted to possession of the bag found in the glove box along with the mason jars. Mr. Argueta then admitted to possession of the knife, two bags of marijuana and the third bag containing money and the four separately packaged white pills. Mr. Argueta also stated that he used the Xanax for personal use, to which he does not have a doctor’s prescription for and carries the knife for protection due to his previous encounters with other individuals who have seriously injured him.


        At this time I placed Franklin Argueta under arrest for M.G.L. 94C/32B- Drug possession to distribute- Class C, M.G.L. 94C/32C- Drug possession to distribute- Class D and Violation of city ordinance 9/96 Possession of a dangerous weapon. He was transported to the Somerville Police Station by Officer Prophete (200- prisoner transport vehicle) to be booked in the usual manner by Lieutenant Lavey. XXXXX was issued a Massachusetts Uniform Citation (#R7230077) for M.G.L. 90/14B- Fail to signal, 540CMR 4.04 (8) D- Tinted tail light lenses and M.G.L. 90/13A- Operator no seat belt.


Respectfully Submitted,


Officer George D’Amelio #324

Somerville Police Department


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