On Thursday, October 13, 2016, I, Sergeant Michael Capasso, was on duty for the Somerville Police as the Patrol Supervisor. At approximately 4:55 PM, I queried Massachusetts Registration XXXXXX as the vehicle took a right turn onto Myrtle Street from Washington Street, both public ways within the City of Somerville. The registration status for the 2004 Honda Civic came back revoked due to a lack of insurance. Clearly posted on a telephone pole at Washington Street and Myrtle street is a “Do Not Enter” sign, which only allows abutters to enter Myrtle Street during 3PM to 7PM, Monday through Friday.
Based on the registration status, coupled with the restricted way violation, I conducted a motor vehicle stop in front of XX Myrtle Street. As I approached the vehicle from the passenger side, I could smell a strong odor of unburnt marijuana emanating from within. Located on the passenger seat was a pair of scissors and a clear plastic bag tucked between the center console and passenger seat. Upon engaging the operator, later identified as Bryan Nieves, I noticed his sense of nervousness quickly increasing as we discussed the reason for the stop. At this point, I requested Somerville Control to dispatch me an additional unit for safety purposes. I asked Mr. Nieves how much marijuana he had in the vehicle, which resulted in him retrieving a sandwich bag which I estimated to contain a half ounce of marijuana, from the driver’s side door compartment. Upon asking Mr. Nieves where he was traveling (due to the abutters only sign at the beginning of Myrtle Street), he stated “Everett.”
I requested Mr. Nieves to produce his license and registration, which he was unable to do. Mr. Nieves stated that he did not have his license on him, but that he could give me his social security number. When I asked him for his social, he delayed his response several seconds as if he forgot it. During the delayed response, I advised Mr. Nieves to calm down and to be truthful about his information. Mr. Nieves apologized, and stated that he did not want me to take his marijuana because he just bought a “14” (as is 14 grams / half ounce) with his paycheck. I placed the marijuana back on the passenger seat, and wrote down his social security number as he provided it to me.
As Officer Hartsgrove and Detective Perrone arrived on location, I approached Mr. Nieves from the driver’s side door. I issued Mr. Nieves an exit order due to the fact the vehicle was uninsured, and subject to tow. Mr. Nieves stared at me and stated something in regards to his life is going to be ruined. Based on this response, I asked Mr. Nieves if he was in possession of a weapon that I should be aware of. Mr. Nieves emptied his sweat pant short pockets and stated, “No.” I again ordered Mr. Nieves out of the vehicle which he again declined to do. Mr. Nieves stared at me and asked me if I wanted him to be honest. I replied, “Yes, I’ve been honest with you the whole time.” Mr. Nieves placed his left hand into the bottom of his shorts (by his hamstring) and began reaching towards his groin area. Concerned for my safety, I immediately grabbed a hold of his hand and ordered him to stop. Mr. Nieves advised me that he had something on him that he wanted to turn over that he found in the car. Mr. Nieves retrieved two small bags of a white rocky substance, believed to be crack cocaine, which was located between his hamstring and sweat pant shorts. Had Mr. Nieves exited the vehicle when I ordered him to do so, the bags would have fell due to gravity.
I placed Mr. Nieves under arrest and advised him of his Miranda warnings from a card I keep on my person. Post Miranda, Mr. Nieves confirmed that the bags contained crack cocaine. The vehicle was towed from the scene by Pat’s Towing, and I confiscated two registration plates. Mr. Nieves was issued Massachusetts Uniform Citation # R7883221. The marijuana had a preliminary weight of 11.4 grams, and the crack cocaine had a preliminary weight of 0.9 grams and 0.4 grams. Mr. Nieves was issued a City Ordinance citation for the marijuana possession.
I will be mailing the registered owner, YYYYY, Massachusetts Uniform Citation # R7883222 for the following:
1. Uninsured motor vehicle on a public way.
2. Fail to inspect motor vehicle.
3. Excessive tint (27%).
Seized from the trunk was a black pellet gun with label / markings scratched off.
Sgt. Michael Capasso #285