During the evening of September 21, 2016, members of the Somerville Police Drug Control Unit were conducting routine narcotic interdiction surveillance within the lower Broadway area of the City of Somerville. The focus of the aforementioned drug surveillance was within an area well known due to its historical reputation involving illegal drug activity. At approximately 8 p.m. Detective’s Cicerone, Brioso, and I observed Gary Mercer Jr. at the corner of Broadway and Mt Pleasant Street talking to XXXXX. Also in the corner of Broadway and Mt Pleasant Street was YYYYY sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle. I would note that XXXXX is known to the SPD Drug Control Unit due to his reputation involving the personal use and distribution of controlled substances. Mercer is also known to the SPD Drug Control Unit due to his reputation involving the personal use of controlled substances. I then queried Mercer for Warrants and a drivers License Status by using the CJIS Web application in my unmarked Police Vehicle. The results of my Query showed that Mercer had 5 active Warrants for his arrest and that he also has a Suspended Ma Drivers License
After observing XXXXX and Mercer for a short while on Broadway, Detective Cicerone who had a unobstructed view of XXXXX and Mercer, observed the two walk into the left hand side of Mt Pleasant Street about twenty feet in, behind a 2003 Cadillac CTS that had its hazard lights on. The Cadillac CTS is registered to ZZZZZ. Observations were then made by Detective Cicerone of a brief hand exchange between Mercer and XXXXX. After the hand exchange, Mercer walked to the driver’s side of the Cadillac and reached in the vehicle. Observations were then made of Mercer walk back to rear of the Cadillac and have a brief conversation with XXXXX. After the conversation, XXXXX walked to YYYYY’s Vehicle and got into the passenger side rear door were he entered the vehicle. The vehicle then left the area and headed into Everett. Mercer then went into the driver’s seat of the Cadillac CTS where he left the area. Based on my training and experience the behaviors displayed by the above named individuals during the course of this observation were consistent with that of a street level drug transaction.
Detectives then conducted a rolling surveillance of Mercer, where Detective’s Brioso and Collette with the assistance of Marked Unit East 1, Officer’s Vannostrand, and Singh shortly after initiated a motor vehicle stop of Mercer’s vehicle at Medford and Dartmouth Street. At this time, I along with Detective’s Ciccerone, Brioso, Legros and Detective Collette with our Police badges prominently displayed on the exterior of our clothing approached the driver’s side of Mercer’s vehicle, to conduct a threshold inquiry to further investigate Mercer’s activity. Mercer after a brief conversation was advised that he had active warrants for his arrest and that his Mass Drivers license was suspended. Mercer was then asked to step out of the vehicle where he was then placed under arrest.
In the front passenger seat was a female identified as Jennifer Castro. Castro was then asked to step out of the vehicle which she did. Search Incident to arrest, Detective Brioso located a black eyeglass case on the center console. inside that eyeglass case was drug paraphernalia along with two baggies of a brown powdery substance believed to Heroin. (Preliminary weight 7 Grams). Castro and Mercer who were read their Miranda warnings by Detective Brioso were asked by me who the eyeglass case belonged to. Both Mercer and Castro in separate locations advised me that the eye glass case did not belong to either of them. I then located 2 baggies of green leafy Substance believed to be Marijuana on the center console. Both Mercer and Castro also declined to take ownership of the marijuana. I then popped the trunk to the vehicle and I observed a black duffle bag that was zipped up. I then unzipped that bag and observed some jewelry, along with a Pentax Camera Lenses along with 2 empty gun holsters, with a couple boxes of 22 Long Rifle Rounds along with other miscellaneous items.
I then asked Mercer who the stuff belonged to. Mercer then advised me that it was his father’s things. I then shortly after asked Mercer if he had a LTC License to which he said no. Mercer was then transported Via marked unit 200 to Somerville Police Department Headquarters by Officer Hartsgrove for booking and processing by Lt. Rymill.
Detective Cicerone and I then decided to check the car again fearing that a firearm could be in the vehicle. I then began to check the front passenger side of the vehicle. I then observed a shiny item between the passenger seat and the center console. I then pulled out that object which was a loaded Jennings J-22 handgun. The firearm was then unloaded and placed in a gun box.
Detective’s Cicerone and Brioso then went to Castro’s Residence at 46A Franklin Street to place Castro under arrest as a CJIS query for a LTC for Castro came back with negative results, and Castro was allowed to leave prior to the firearm being found. Castro was then transported Via marked unit 200 to Somerville Police Department Headquarters by Officer Hartsgrove for booking and processing by Lt. Rymill.
The Cadillac was towed back to Somerville Police Headquarters via Pats Tow, Pending a further investigation. I would note that Detective Collette followed the vehicle to the station as it was being towed. Mercer was also Issued Mass uniform Citation # 7096394.
The firearm was placed into evidence by Detective Legros.
Detective Jason Costa #301