On 04/12/19, During the day shift, I, Officer Christopher Collette was assigned to Somerville marked unit West Six. At approximately 13:24 hours, I was in traffic on Washington St. (Eastbound), and Medford St. I suddenly smelled the odor of Marijuana. As I looked up, I observed the operator of a van, in the lane immediately to my right, exhaling a large amount of smoke. I observed him inhale from a vaping device and exhale several more times. The odor was still present. He stopped as it appeared that he took notice of my observing him. I believed the operator was consuming a Cannabis based vaping solution while operating the vehicle.
The light cycled to green. I stopped the vehicle, a van bearing MA XXXX, on McGrath Highway just past Alston St. in order to investigate this matter. I requested another unit and Officer Nicholas Moreira responded. I approached the van and requested the driver’s license and registration. He stated that he did not have his driver’s license on him. He provided me with the name and DOB of David Geehan, XXXX. I asked Mr. Geehan what he had been vaping. He handed me a vial that read “Contains Nicotine”. I advised him that I smelled a strong odor of marijuana emanating from his vehicle while we were at the light. He stated that he was not smoking marijuana. I queried the provided information and found that Mr. Geehan’s right to operate had been suspended and he had an outstanding arrest warrant for operating a motor vehicle after suspension. Somerville Control then confirmed Mr. Geehan’s license status, and the existence of the warrant.
Officer N. Moreira and I then approached the vehicle. I advised Mr. Geehan to step out, as I planned on performing field assessments. Mr. Geehan then advised me that he had not been smoking marijuana while driving but did have under an ounce of potent marijuana in the vehicle. Under my supervision he retrieved a camera bag. As he removed it from the vehicle, I could smell an overpowering odor of marijuana. I also did not observe any indication that Mr. Geehan was under the influence of marijuana.
I then placed him under arrest for the outstanding warrant. Mr. Geehan stated that he was unaware that his license had been suspended, however on 08/02/2018, he default from an arraignment for this very charge.
I observed that Mr. Geehan’s marijuana was in a mason jar without a factory seal. He stated that he had consumed some, earlier in the day. I advised him that I would be seizing the open container of marijuana which appeared to be under an ounce, and I would be issuing a citation to him for the offense.
As Mr. Geehan was being transported to the station for booking, I was requested to assist the West End units in another matter. I cleared the area and was unable to issue Mr. Geehan any citations in hand.
I issued MA Citation T1318431 to Mr. Geehan for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license 90/23 and I issued Somerville Ordinance Violation # 56599 to Mr. Geehan for having an open container of Marijuana in his vehicle 94G/13D. Both will be mailed to him.
I’d like to note that inside the camera bag containing the jar of marijuana, I also located two cellphones, a grinder, a glass pipe, and a lighter. The Marijuana was logged for destruction under TAG# 19020029. The camera bag and the rest of the contents were logged for safe keeping under TAG# 19020029-2.
Patrolman Christopher Collette, B#302