March 22, 2011

3 Men Arrested After Quincy Drug Raid

Quincy Police executed a Search Warrant at 109 Garfield Street and arrested three persons on various Massachusetts Gun Charges and Drug Crimes.

Daniel Hardesty, 41, of Quincy, Villar Cruz, 23, of Dorchester, and Johan Figueroa-Rivera were all arrested during the raid and charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs; Conspiracy to Violate Massachusetts Drug Laws; School Zone Drug Violation; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

According to the Quincy Police Department, the execution of the Search Warrant at 109 Garfield Street was the result of a 'month-long' investigation into alleged drug dealing at that address.

Typically in these types of cases, although the police may have had probable cause to believe drug dealing was allegedly going on at that location, they might not have necessarily had information regarding all of the individuals involved.

In search warrant cases of this nature, police often employ a 'confidential informant' to go in and buy drugs from the target location. The confidential informant would then relay to the officers either the name of the person allegedly selling the drugs, or at the very least, a description of the person(s) selling and/or present at the time. Even where named individuals are not immediately known, police will often search public land records or utility records to find out who lives there. The persons on these records, however, may not necessarily be the person(s) involved into the alleged drug activity.

For this and may other reasons, it is critical that persons charged with any Drug Crimes or Gun Charges should then Contact a Boston Criminal Lawyer.

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March 21, 2011

Three Men Arrested for Massachusetts ATM Thefts Totaling $340,000

Francisco Ortiz, of Lowell, Wilson Martinez, of Pepperell, and James McNeil, of Haverhill, were all arrested today on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges for allegedly stealing almost $340,000 from ATMs across the state.

The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office had formed a task force, which including the Massachusetts State Police, to investigate 'smash and grab' thefts of monies from ATMs across the state. In all, over 16 persons were allegedly indicted in connection with planned burglaries and break-ins of banks and business across the state.

According to the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit and the Attorney General's Office, the men would disable alarm systems to access businesses and then break into the ATMs.

The investigation was reportedly initially prompted as far back as 2007, when Massachusetts State Police discovered that other men, including Miguel Carballo, Michael Vasquez and Feliciano Colon had conspired to break into electronics store in New York, and then transport the merchandise in stolen cars to Lawrence where they would allegedly be sold on the black market.

The specific Massachusetts Theft Crimes contained in the indictments have not been disclosed, but it is believes the crimes charged to included Unarmed Robbery; Conspiracy; Breaking and Entering in the Nighttime to Commit a Felony; Possession of Burglarious Tools; Larceny From a Building and Receiving Stolen Property.

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March 20, 2011

Medford Police Make Arrest in 'Jogger Stabbing'

Craig Alan Bourque was arrested yesterday by Medford Police in connection with the stabbing of a jogger last week. Bourque, 23, of Great Barrington, was formally charged with Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon.

The Medford Police Department alleges that Bourque, along with three others, were involved in the "random" attack and stabbing of a Medford jogger on March 17. The jogger, who is expected to be released from this hospital this week, told police that nothing was stolen during the attack, leading police to believe that the alleged attack was random and the motive for such unclear.

At this time, only Craig Alan Bourque has been arrested in connection with the stabbing, and police are still reportedly searching for three other persons.

It's unclear how Medford Police were initially led to Craig Alan Bourque, but he was initially questioned about the stabbing the same night it occurred. According to poilce, who reportedly didn't have enough probable cause to immediately arrest him, told officers he was in Somerville with a friend at the time. The Medford Police have not revealed, however, what additional evidence they learned to believe that Bourque was involved in this incident.

The Massachusetts felony crime of Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon carries up to 10 years in state prison or 2.5 years in the House of Correction.

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March 18, 2011

Two Teens Arrested in Beverly Murder

Sajan Christensen, 18, and Adam Martin, 17, both of Beverly, were arrested last night on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the death of James Vernazzaro, 26, also of Beverly.

Both Christensen and Martin were arraigned in Salem District Court this morning on First Degree Murder Charges.

According to the Beverly Police Department, police officers responded to caller reporting an assault at Balch Park on Cabot Street. James Vernazzaro was found unconscious and suffering from multiple stab wounds. He was rushed to Beverly Hospital where he was pronounced.

Beverly Police reported that several witnesses described the alleged assailants, some even pointing out where they lived. Police also reportedly obtained an admission from Martin, who allegedly stated he had struck Vernazzaro in the head twice with a baseball bat but denied stabbing him. Christensen, on the other hand, reportedly admitted to holding the knife, but also denied stabbing him.

Following their arraignments on Murder Charges, both Christensen and Martin were held without bail.

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March 16, 2011

4 Teenagers Arrested for Springfield Murder Last November

walker murder.jpgMassachusetts State Police have arrested four Springfield teenagers in connection with the November 30, 2010, Murder of Reality Shabazz Walker.

The four men, Ramos Diaz, 19, Armondo Olivares, 17, and Lionel Lopez, 18,, all of Springfield, as well as Javier Nieves, 18, of Boston, have all been charged with FIrst Degree Murder.

Diaz and Olivares were both arrested yesterday on arrest warrants by Springfield Police officers, while Javier Nieves walked into Springfield District Court when he learned that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Lionel Lopez, meanwhile, was already in custody in connection with the Massachusetts Murder of Jose Colon.

According to the Springfield Police Department, Reality Shabazz Walker, who at the time was studying to become a medical assistant, was shot and killed on November 30 outside of the John L. Sullivan Housing Complex in Springfield. He succumbed to injuries from a single gunshot would to the back.

At this time, Springfield Police have not disclosed any motive for why Walker was murdered.

The arrests of the four teenagers in connection to the Walker murder come just days after the arrest of another teen, Gregory Falero, 17, who was arrested on Massachusetts Murder Charges for the death of Kevin Gomez, 16, this past weekend.

Kevin Gomez, a freshman at Chicopee Comprehensive High School, was attending a birthday party when he was shot and killed early Sunday morning.

Gregory Falero has been charged with First Degree Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

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March 15, 2011

"Clark Rockefeller" To Be Extradited From Massachusetts Prison for 1985 Murder

Rockefeller.jpgChristian K. Gerhartsreiter, 50, who gained fame as "Clark Rockefeller" from the Massachusetts Kidnapping case involving his daughter, was recently indicted by Los Angeles County prosecutors for the Murder of John Sohus, 27.

Clark Rockefeller is currently serving a 4-5 year Massachusetts state prison sentence for the crime of Kidnapping his daughter following a custody dispute with his wife. In that case, he was charged with kidnapping his 7 year old daughter, Reigh, from a supervised visit from his former Back Bay apartment in Boston in July of 2008. He had also been charged and convicted of Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon.

Following his arrest in that case, it was revealed that "Clark Rockefeller", as he was known by his wife, friends and everyone else, had also assumed various false identities over the years and was really a German national by the name of Christian K. Gerhartsreiter.

Shortly after his arrest for those Massachusetts Crimes, Los Angeles County prosecutors declared Rockefeller a 'person of interest' for the unsolved 1985 murder of John Sohus and his wife.

Sohus' body was discovered in 1994 in the backyard his own home in San Marino. The body of his wife, however, does not appear to have ever been located. According to prosecutors, an autopsy of John Sohus' body reportedly revealed evidence that he had suffered from 'blunt force trauma' to the head.

At the time Sohus went missing, a man who was known as Christopher Chichester lived in the guest house behind Sohus' home. Chichester, now believed to have been Clark Rockefeller, also 'disappeared' from the area around the same time the Sohus couple went missing...

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March 14, 2011

Braintree Police Arrest Two Men on Massachusetts Drug Charges at South Shore Plaza

Braintree Police Officers arrested Eric J. Tobin, 25, of Taunton, and Jonathan R. Melo, 23, of Dorchester, for allegedly violating Massachusetts Drug Crimes Laws at Braintree's South Shore Plaza this afternoon.

Jonathan Melo was charged with Distribution of a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws; and Eric Tobin was charged with Unlawful Possession of Drugs and Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws.

According to the Braintree Police Department, officers' suspicion became aroused when they observed a red SUV driving up and down rows of parked cars at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree. Police identified the driver of that SUV as Eric Tobin, who ultimately allegedly got out of the car and got into a gray Buick. Braintree Police Officers allege that Tobin was in that Buick for less than a minute before then getting into his own car and leaving the area.

Braintree Police stopped by cars, and after being 'evasive' to officers questions, officers search both cars and allegedly recovered two small bags of heroin in Tobin's car; and $1,800 on the possession of Jonathan Melo.

Notwithstanding the recover of drugs and having been charged with violating Massachusetts Drug Laws, both Tobin and Melo would be smart to challenge the Search and Seizure of the officers' initially stopping them and searching their vehicle.

In Constitutional challenges in Search and Seizure in Massachusetts Drug Cases such as these, whether or not drugs or other contraband was ultimately found is irrelevant if the initial seizure and search was not lawful. In other words, if the Braintree Police Officers had no probable cause, or at the very least, reasonable suspicion, to believe that Melo and Tobin were committing a crime, then their being stopped and searched was unconstiutional.

In this context, without additional observations that might have elevated the officer's suspicions that a crime had taken place, I would venture that both these men have merit in challenging the officers actions. For instance, there doesn't appear to have been any indication that either men were known to the officers as drug dealers or users; they didn't see drugs or money actually being exchange; they didn't see observe any 'furtive' movements by either party; and neither man reportedly committed any motor vehicle violations that might justify their being stopped on independent grounds.

Under Massachusetts Drug Laws, an officers' 'hunch' that a drug deal had taken place, even if correct in hindsight, does not justify an illegal detention and search.

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March 10, 2011

Two Boston Men Arrested for Theft Crimes in Stolen Car Chase

Police Car Chase.jpgMichael Johnson, 39, of Jamaica Plain, and Stedmon HIll, 37, also of Jamaica Plain, were both arrested today on Massachusetts Theft Crimes Charges following a stolen car chase in Roxbury today.

The driver of the car, Michael Johnson, was arrested and charged with Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle; Failure to Stop for Police; Reckless Driving; and Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Personal Injury; and Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Property Damage.

The passenger of the car, Stedmon Hill, was charged with Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle.

According to the Boston Police Department, officers initiated pursuit of the car after discovering it had been reported stolen following a check of its 'disfigured license plates.' When police officers activated their lights and sirens, the car allegedly turned onto Dimock Street, striking a pedestrian. The driver, Michael Johnson, allegedly refused to stop and continue down a one-way street and collided with another car.

At some point, Boston Police alleged that both Johnson and Hill got out of the car and allegedly fled. Both were pursued on foot and arrested nearby.

In many types of cases charging the Crime of Receiving Stolen Property, the government will have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that both defendants had knowledge that the car was stolen. Simply leading the police on pursuit and/or fleeing from the car, although in many instances could be considered 'consciousness of guilt,' may not be enough.

In other words, there may be other valid reasons why the individuals did not stop for the police or fled from the car, thereby refuting any evidence of consciousness of guilt. For example, the persons had outstanding arrest warrants or had other contraband on their person.

In any case, the potential penalties involved in a conviction for a Massachusetts Theft Crime could be severe, including potential incarceration and/or a very lengthy term of probation, and those charged with such crimes should Contact a Boston Theft Crimes Lawyer.

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March 9, 2011

Univ. of Massachusetts Law Student Arrested on Gun Crimes Charges

John E. Cassidy, 26, a student at UMass Dartmouth Law School, was arrested on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges after he allegedly assaulted his roommate in North Dartmouth. Cassidy was arraigned on several charges, including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Unlawful Possession of a High Capacity Firearm, and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

According to Dartmouth Police, police had received an 'anonymous tip' that John E. Cassidy illegally possessed guns in his apartment and had allegedly assaulted his roommate.

The roommate reportedly told police that Cassidy had assaulted him with a handgun, and that after the assault, he fled to Worcester because he was scared of Cassidy. He later returned to Dartmouth and reported the incident to Dartmouth Police.

John E. Cassidy reportedly purchased the firearms legally in Texas, and had brought them to Massachusetts when he enrolled in law school at UMass. It appears, however, that Cassidy had not yet applied or been granted a license to legally possess the firearms and ammunition in Massachusetts as of the date of his arrest.

Meanwhile, Cassidy reportedly had an outstanding Arrest Warrant out of Texas, where he was charged with Possession of Explosive Components. Texas law enforcement also accused him of allegedly torching a car of a man that Cassidy allegedly robbed during a drug deal.

Following his arraignment in New Bedford District Court, John E. Cassidy was detained without bail pending a Dangerousness Hearing. He has since been suspended indefinitely from Umass Law School.

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March 8, 2011

3rd Man Arrested in Braintree Stabbing of Randolph Man

Kelly's Liquors.jpgMilor Nerette, 18, of Randolph, Massachusetts, was arrested by Boston Police Officers last Friday in connection with the stabbing of a 23 year old Randolph man that occurred in Braintree's South Shore Plaza last February. Milor Nerette was formally arraigned yesterday on Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges of Armed Assault to Murder in Quincy District Court.

According to the Braintree Police Department, Milor Nerette is believed to be one of four men who allegedly approached a man in the South Shore Plaza in Braintree and stabbed the 23 year old Randolph man. A judge from the Quincy District Court had previously issued an arrest warrant for Nerette on charges of Armed Assault with Intent to Murder. He was picked up on the arrest warrant this past Friday by Boston Police.

The other two men already arrested in connection with this stabbing were Geraldo Lerouge, 20, of Hyde Park, and Ricardo Clermont, 21, of Quincy. Both were previously arraigned on the charge of Armed Assault with Intent to Murder in Quincy District Court on February 28.

According to the Boston Police Department, officers were able to quickly identify and arrest Lerouge and Clermont because both men were currently on probation and wearing GPS monitoring devices.

The victim, who has not been identified, is believed to be a 'connected' gang member, and has reportedly been 'uncooperative' with this investigation, which could be a sign that the cases against Nerette, Lerouge and Clermont could be difficult for the prosecution.

Boston Police also believe that several incidents in the hours after are related to the Braintree stabbing, including an incident where shots were fired into a home on Arborfield Road in Roslindale; shots fired into a home on Hyde Park Avenue; and a fight outside of Kelley's Liquors on Hyde Park Avenue.

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March 7, 2011

Boston Man Arrested for Sex Crimes Against Student on MBTA Bus

Joseph Potter.jpgJoseph Potter, 74, of Dorchester, was arrested on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly groping a female student last November who was on her way to school. Potter was arraigned last week in Roxbury District Court on charges of Indecent Assault & Battery.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Police, Potter allegedly groped a female student on a bus traveling to Ruggles Station on November 3. According to the woman, Potter allegedly sat beside her on the bus and then started rubbing her thigh.

Then, earlier this month, the same female student allegedly recognized the man on another MBTA bus and told police officers that Potter was the person who allegedly groped her back on November 3. Joseph Potter was allegedly stopped by the police and arrested after the female purportedly identified him.

Clearly, one of the key issue in this case is a Defense of Identification. As part of his defense strategy, Potter will want to scrutinize the initial description of the 'suspect' that was given on November 3 when the incident was initially reported. Assuming there are no video or surveillance images of the person from the November 3 incident, the prosecutor against Joseph Potter will come down to accuracy of the identification.

As with all Massachusetts Sex Crimes, because the potential consequences could include incarceration and registration with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board, persons charged with such Sex Crimes should immediately Consult with a Boston Sex Crimes Lawyer.

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March 6, 2011

School Bus Driver Charged with Rape of 5 Year Old Child

Sergio Lara, 53, owner of Maya Transportation, a private school bus company, was arraigned in Chelsea District Court last week on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly raping a 5 year old girl. He was formally charged with Rape of a Child and Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Sergio Lara owns the private school bus company that contracts with the cities of Revere, Chelsea and East Boston. Lara was driving the girl home from school, and alleged committed the sexual assault before dropping the girl off. When the child was dropped off, she told her parents what had happened and the alleged rape was reported.

Following his arraignment on Rape of a Child and Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child, Lara was held on $100,000 cash bail.

Given the serious nature and extreme consequences, including Sex Offender Registration, those charged with any Massachusetts Sex Crimes should immediately Contact a Boston Sex Crimes Lawyer.

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March 1, 2011

Malden Man Arrested in Cambridge Bar Stabbing

Ricardo Garcia, 23, of Malden, was arrested last Friday for allegedly stabbing another man in the chest at Tommy Doyle's Pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Garcia was formally charged with Armed Assault to Murder, Resisting Arrest and Possession of Class E Drugs.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Cambridge Police Officers responded to the Cambridge bar at approximately 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning and found a 48 year old Somerville man bleeding from the chest. He was able to inform officers that he was trying to break up a fight in the bar when another man came and stabbed him in the chest.

The alleged stabber, Ricardo Garcia, was held by the bar staff until Cambridge Police Officers arrived. A search of Garcia allegedly yielded a folding knife and several illegal pills.

Apparently, the other man involved in the fight had already been asked to leave before Cambridge Police arrived, and it is not clear if his identity is known and/or whether additional charges will be sought.

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February 27, 2011

Massachusetts State Police Arrest Danvers Man for Kidnapping Girlfriend

Nathaniel Hudon, 31, of Danvers, was arrested yesterday for several Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges in connection with the alleged abduction of his 42 year old girlfriend. He is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow morning in Malden District Court on charges including Kidnapping; Assault & Battery; Driving Under the Influence of Narcotics; Reckless Driving; and Failure to Stop for Police.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, Hudon went to the woman's Danvers home at 5:45 a.m. and allegedly convinced her to get into his car - despite that the woman realized that Hudon was allegedly under the influence of cocaine and that she was 'in fear for her life.'

The two eventually traveled onto the Massachusetts Turnpike, where they eventually stopped at the Westborough service plaza to get gas. At that point, the woman reportedly kicked through the window and ran towards the rest stop and used a cellphone to call the police.

When Massachusetts State Police Troopers responded, the woman told them which way Hudon had gone and they then engaged in a reported 20 mile pursuit, which ended when Hudon crashed his car in the Charlton Service Plaza.

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February 26, 2011

Lawrence Man Arrested on Drug Trafficking Charges

Wilkins R. Diaz, 35, was arrested last week on Massachusetts Drug Crimes Charges for allegedly dealing in narcotics in the town of Rowley. Diaz is currently held on $25,000 on charges of Drug Trafficking in Heroin and Drug Violation in School Zone pending his arraignment Monday morning in Newburyport District Court.

According to the Rowley Police Department, Diaz was arrested following a joint investigation involving the Ipswich, Beverly, Danvers and Massachusetts State Police Departments. The investigation, according to police, led them to concentrate their focus on a green Honda Odyssey on Leslie Road in Rowley.

The officers conducting the investigation on February 18, however, noticed that a minivan passed the 'target location' a few times. Using the fact that the minivan had an expired inspection sticker as a pretext, officers pulled the minivan over and questioned the driver, which was Wilkins Diaz.

According to the Essex County District Attorney's Office, officers questioning Diaz allegedly noticed a small bag of heroin on the floor of the vehicle near the driver's side door. A more complete search of the car then allegedly revealed an additional 35 grams of heroin that was found in a 'drug hide' in the car, as well as $2,000 and other purported drug paraphernalia.

So wait a minute, the officers knowing that they can't search the car without probable cause, miraculously discover a bag of heroin on the floor of a car where everything else was hidden in a secret compartment?

...I wouldn't be surprised if what really happened was that Wilkins' car was illegally search and, after the fact, they sought to justify the search by claiming they first observed a single bag of heroin just lying on the floor. ...which scenario sounds more believable to you?

Either way, Wilkins should definitely challenge the lawfulness of the search of his car...

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