Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Michael CASTILLO (Carry Dangerous Weapon) & Juvenile (Firearm Carry with Ammo, Firearm Carry w/o License)

The following is a brief supplemental summary pertaining to Incident 18037270:

On Friday, June 22, 2018, I was working in the Somerville Police Drug Unit as Delta-18. During the day shift (8:00 AM – 4:00 PM) I was assigned as a station officer. At approximately 3:30 P.M., I heard a radio call for an assault with a firearm. During this incident, a group of associates known to the Somerville Police were observed in a physical altercation by a witness. Two vehicle were also observed leaving the scene, one belonging to Mr. XXXX. Sergeant Capasso was able to view video surveillance from a neighbor and it was clear that several males appeared to be in an altercation. Some of these males included XXXX, Michael Castillo, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, and other individuals who could not be identified. These males were observed going into several vehicles and running away on foot. Approximately an hour and half later, Detectives and Sergeant Capasso located Mr. XXXX and Mr. XXXX operating one of the vehicles seen in the surveillance and stopped the vehicle on Bradley Street. (Please see Incident # 18037247 and 18037262) During Incident 18037247, several individuals including Castillo and XXXX were observed reaching in their waists as if they were carrying a weapon.

After Sergeant Capasso’s motor vehicle stop, I observed several individuals waiting in the Edward Leathers Park. These males included XXXX, Michael Castillo, XXXX, and an unknown male. The unknown male, later identified as JUVENILE, hereinafter referred to as JV, was riding a bicycle wearing a white backpack. Mr. Castillo, XXXX, XXXX, and JV left the park and began travelling down Gilman Street towards Cross Street. The four males walked east as I went around onto Aldrich Street. As I reached the corner, JV waved me on to go as I was stopped at the stop sign. I could see JV was wearing the white backpack and on a bicycle. I took a left on Gilman Street and another left onto Cross Street where I observed XXXX walking towards Gilman Street. At this time, I notified the other detectives of my observations as XXXX appeared to be walking with a purpose. The motor vehicle stop had just occurred with XXXX and XXXX only a few minutes prior which is why I found it odd for XXXX to be on foot. Sergeant Capasso was in the immediate area as he was checking other surveillance footage from nearby homes. I would note the area where these males appeared to be walking towards is the same area where the altercation took place during Incident 18037247.

Detectives observed XXXX walking onto Gilman Street looking around. XXXX observed Sergeant Capasso on Cross Street as he looked back at his police cruiser. XXXX then met with Castillo and the other males. Within a minute of this meet, XXXX also arrived in his vehicle. This portion of Gilman Street is perfect for counter surveillance from possible police personnel as it is a one was coming from the Gilman Street Bridge towards Cross Street. I noticed Mr. XXXX looking around and all the males huddling around the white backpack I observed earlier on JV. It appeared the males were doing something to the backpack but I could not see into it. I believed XXXX could be explaining to the other males that he had just been stopped and the police were around this area as he clearly had just observed Sergeant Capasso. Castillo, XXXX, XXXX, and JV then began walking and riding down Oliver Street where they passed my unmarked vehicle again. Once again, I observed JV possessing this white backpack. These four males went towards the Capuano Playground where a rolling surveillance was kept of them. The males were observed in the parking lot of the basketball court of the Capuano School. All the males once again huddled around the backpack and appeared to be looking inside. I notified the other units of my observations as Sergeant Capasso stated that several males were observed on the surveillance footage of the earlier assault call. I was later notified by Officer Desrochers who responded to the original call that a young male on a bike had rode his bike in the area during the incident but did not have a backpack. At this time, I called for marked units to respond to the Glen Street side of the Capuano School as I intended on speaking with the four males.

As this event was unfolding I had suspicions of a firearm being inside of the white backpack belonging to JV. I alerted the other officers of my suspicions for officer safety. In my training and experience, I noticed a recent trend happening within this group of individuals. This group is also part of two neighborhood groups known as RES and MP 45. Recently an uptake in gun violence had occurred between these gangs and Port 44 of Cambridge. During recent gun related arrests, it appeared an adult of these groups may possess a firearm but would always be accompanied by a minor. The minor would always contain physical possession of the firearm. While speaking to a person with knowledge of these groups, also a source of information (SOI), they stated that this is a popular trend because a juvenile in possession of a firearm is a lot less serious than if the adult has it. This SOI stated that these tendencies of having a minor accompany you was more popular with adults who had current pending cases or those of them who were on probation. The SOI stated that the juvenile would be the “fall guy.”

As marked units Sector-East, Detectives Legros and Dottin, and East-1, Officer Howe, arrived on scene, Detectives McNally, Costa, and I approached the males to speak with them. All four males immediately began walking away from the white backpack which was now placed on the sidewalk by JV. I explained to the males what had occurred earlier and that two of them appeared to be involved in this incident. Detective Costa asked Castillo if he had any weapons on his person. Castillo appeared nervous and began back tracking. Due to his nervousness and his involvement in the earlier incident, Detective Costa pat frisked Castillo where he felt a bulge in his shorts. Detective Costa believed this to be a knife. Castillo stated, “It’s a knife.” At this time, Costa retrieved this spring assisted knife out of Castillo’s shorts along with a bag of green leafy substance believed to be Marijuana. At this time, I could see the physical appearance of the other males seemed depleted as if they felt something was wrong. Each individual was pat frisked and identified. As I walked over to JV, I asked his name to which he did not answer. I asked him several times to which I never received an answer. I then asked how old he was multiple times. After receiving no verbal communication from JV, Detective McNally explained to him that we believed him to be a juvenile and may have to bring him to the police station until an adult guardian could pick him up. JV then stated he was fifteen years old but would not tell us his name.

I asked Castillo if the white backpack which was on the sidewalk belonged to him. Castillo stated it did not. I then asked XXXX and XXXX the same question. Both stated that it did not belong to them either. I finally asked JV if the bag belonged to him. JV stated it did not. I then stated, “It must be abandoned property as it did not appear to belong to anyone. I lifted the backpack off the sidewalk to place it on the bench. As I lifted this backpack I noticed it appeared to be weighted on the bottom. At this time, I believed this weighted item could be a firearm due to the numerous incidents I have personally been involved in where a firearm was located wrapped in clothing inside of a backpack. I once again asked all four males who the backpack belonged to and did not receive an answer. I frisked the exterior of the bag and felt an object which I believed to be consistent with that of a firearm. As I opened this backpack, I saw a white t-shirt on the very top. I reached into the backpack to move the white t-shirt and felt a hard metallic object which I believed to be a semi-automatic firearm. As I unwrapped this t-shirt, I observed a black and silver semi-automatic firearm. This firearm contained a serial number of xxxxx. At this time, knowing that JV was underage and could not possibly possess a firearm I explained to him that he was under arrest for possession of the firearm. JV just nodded his head.

Sergeant McCarey took photographs of this backpack and the firearm inside. I then cleared the firearm of the magazine and rendered it safe. The magazine contained five 9 mm hollow point rounds but did not have a round into the chamber. JV and Mr. Castillo were transported to Somerville Police Headquarters via marked unit 200, Officer Buswell, where they were booked in the usual manner by Lieutenant A. Rymill. While awaiting for the prisoner transport vehicle, I explained to JV that I had observed him several times riding his bike with the white backpack. JV nodded his head up and down but did not speak.

Respectfully submitted,

Detective Fernando Cicerone #279

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