Recently in Gun/Firearms Crimes Category

March 27, 2013

Massachusetts Police Make (Un)Lawful Gun Arrest in Stoughton?


A Massachusetts State Police Trooper pulled over two Boston men in Stoughton late Sunday night, ultimately arrested the passenger on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges.

The passenger, Brian Marsh, 45 of Hyde Park, was arrested and arraigned in Stoughton District Court for unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of drugs.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, a trooper on his way home from a paid detail after 11:00 p.m. Sunday night observed a car with an invalid inspection sticker. Attempted to pull the car over for this violation, the trooper alleged that the vehicle accelerated to speeds of approximately 90 miles per hour.

When the car finally pulled over, the trooper approached the driver and could smell an odor of marijuana. The operator of the car, Jason Brewer of Roxbury, allegedly admitted he was unlicensed and could not locate the registration for the car. The trooper additional spoke with the passenger of the, who allegedly made inconsistent statements concerning the who owned the vehicle.

The Massachusetts State Police trooper, based on inconsistencies of the passenger's stories, ordered him out of the car and conducted a pat-frisk. As a result of the frisk, state troopers recovered an unloaded revolver on the passenger.

The fact pattern in this incident is one that could potentially raise several constitutional challenges by way of a motion to suppress evidence. For instance, was the officer's stop of the car even lawful in the first place? The trooper is going to say that it was because he saw the car traveling with an expired inspection sticker...but are we really going to believe that? How did he see it? At 11:00 p.m. at night while the car was traveling down the road and through his rear view mirror?

Secondly, there is a serious concern whether the trooper's exit order and pat-frisk of the passenger was even lawful. Under Massachusetts law, before a police officer in a routine traffic stop may order a person out of the car, he must have a reasonable belief that his safety or the safety of others is in danger. I also don't believe that simply because the passenger's story was inconsistent was enough to justify the exit order. There must be something specific that would give the officer concern that his safety was in danger, and hunch is not enough.

Additionally, with regard to pat frisks, Massachusetts law considers even a limited search for weapons as a serious intrusion against a person's constitutional rights. Unless there is probable cause to arrest, a search will only be justified if there is both a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and a reasonable apprehension of danger.

If the prosecutor cannot meet his burden in establishing that the exit order and subsequent pat frisk was justified pursuant to constitutional standards, then any evidence obtained as a result should be suppressed or excluded from the case.

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November 10, 2012

Boston Man Charged with Massachusetts Gun Crimes Following Search of Dorchester Apartment


Boston Police Officers executed a search warrant charged the Dorchester homeowner with several Massachusetts Gun Charges this past week.

The Dorchester man, Magnetic Tom, was charged with two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Improper Storage of a Firearm and being a Level II Armed Career Criminal.

According to the Boston Police Department, a search warrant was executed at the man's Washington Street apartment in Dorchester this past Thursday and recovered two handguns and several rounds of ammunition.

The police further allege that the man told them "You're here to look for guns. I need to protect my family" and basically admitted that he illegally possessed guns. [Take that with a grain of salt. According to police, almost everyone admits to the illegal activity].

The Massachusetts Gun Crime of Improper Storage of a Firearm makes it unlawful to store any firearm that is not secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistance mechanical lock or other safety device.

For those defendants that do not have a firearms identification license, a conviction for this gun crime can carry up 1 to 10 years for a firearm that is not a large capacity weapon; or 2.5 to 10 years in state prison for a large capacity weapon or machine gun.

Even persons that are properly licensed to possess gun can be charged with Improper Storage of a Firearm, and a conviction in this context can carry up to 1 year imprisonment for non-large capacity weapons; and 1 to 10 years for large capacity weapons.

Additionally, a conviction for the above offenses would also trigger the Armed Career Criminal ("ACC") Sentencing Enhancement, which provides enhanced penalties for those defendants who have been previously convicted of a 'violent crime' or a 'serious drug offense'.

On a Level 2 ACC conviction, the person would face a minimum-mandatory 10-15 year sentence to state prison.

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September 4, 2012

Brockton Man Charged with Attempted Murder for Shooting in Boston


A Brockton man was arraigned last week on several Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges for allegedly shooting at a crowd of people in Boston.

The man was formally arraigned in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court with Armed Assault to Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition and Carrying a Loaded Firearm.

According to the Boston Police, the Brockton man exited his vehicle last Tuesday evening and started shooting at a group of people that were in front of a liquor store in the area of 620 Shawmut Avenue in Boston's South End.

Boston Police Officers allegedly witnesses the shooting and began chasing the man, who reportedly discarded the firearm. He was arrested further down on Washington Street.

Another man, from Boston, then allegedly grabbed the discarded gun and attempted to hide it in a plastic bag under some bushes. That man was also arrested and charged with Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges. At his arraignment, Suffolk County prosecutors also charged him with being a Level III Armed Career Criminal. His bail was set at $15,000 after his arraignment in Dorchester Court.

As for the Brockton man, he was held on $100,000 cash bail with conditions, including GPS monitoring.

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February 19, 2012

Massachusetts High School Student Brings Gun to School


A freshman student at Falmouth High School allegedly brought a gun to school this past week and has been charged with Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges.

According to Falmouth High School representatives, the student, who is reportedly 15 years old, was allegedly bragging to other students that he had a gun. Falmouth Police were called to the school and found that the student did, indeed, have a gun on him, but it was not loaded.

According to police, the student took the gun from a relative, who is reportedly licensed to carry firearms. His license to carry has reportedly been suspended pending a further investigation.

The student was arraigned in Falmouth Juvenile Court and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. He was released on personal recognizance and ordered to abide by a curfew and to stay away from Falmouth High School.

The Massachusetts Gun Crime of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm is punishable by imprisonment for not less than 18 months and up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections. Under Massachusetts law, a "firearm" is defined as a pistol, revolver or other weapon, loaded or unloaded, from which a shot or bullet can be discharged, and whose barrel is less than 16 inches.

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November 8, 2011

Boston Man Arrested on Weak Gun Charges


A 26 year old Boston man was arrested this past weekend in Dorchester on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges for allegedly carrying a loaded AK-47 assault rifle and allegedly firing a shot into the ground.

Mohamed Ali Bile, of Dorchester, was arrested by Boston Police officers and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; Unlawful Possession of Ammunition; Carrying a Loaded Firearm; and Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Boston Police Officers responded to an area in Dorchester for a report of "a black man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt" who had allegedly fired a shot into the ground. Police officers who responded allegedly encountered Bile, who allegedly ran away from the police and jumped fences through several backyards.

Upon his arrest, Mohamed Ali Bile denied that he ever possessed any firearms and allegedly stated that he was running because he thought that someone was trying to shoot at him.

Despite what may appear, according to reports, to be an open and shut case for the government, the reality is that prosecutors will have an uphill proving to a jury that it was Bile who actually possessed weapon and it was he who actually fired the weapon. After all, it does not appear that any witness would be able to identity Bile as the person who possessed the gun; and the police officers never saw him possess/fire the weapon. If the only evidence of 'consciousness of guilt' is that he allegedly 'fled', then any valid reason presented to a jury might arguably persuade them that there is, in fact, reasonable doubt...

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October 25, 2011

Boston High School Student Arrested for Gun at School


A 14 year old Boston high school student was arrested this morning on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges after he allegedly brought a loaded handgun to West Roxbury High School.

The 9th grade student was charged in West Roxbury Juvenile Court this morning on charges including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition and Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm.

The Boston high school student was arrested at the West Roxbury Education Complex this morning by Boston School Police when he allegedly tried to avoid the metal detector when entering the school.

Following his arraignment on gun charges, the student was held without bail pending a Dangerousness Hearing.

The Massachusetts Gun Crime of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm is punishable with imprisonment for a minimum-mandatory sentence of not less than 18 months in the House of Corrections and up to 5 years in state prison.

In order to prove unlawful possession of a gun, the prosecutor would have to prove that the defendant possessed or had under his control a firearm. A "firearm" is defined in Massachusetts is a pistol or revolver, loaded or unloaded, from which a bullet can be discharged and which has a barrel length of less than 16 inches."


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September 24, 2011

Boston Man Arraigned in Murder of Rockland Mother


Orlando Kavanaugh, 28 from Boston, was arraigned in Brockton's Plymouth County Superior Court on several Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges and Gun Crimes in connection with the death of Tina Gonsalves.

Kavanaugh has been charged with First Degree Murder; Armed Home Invasion; Armed Assault to Murder; Assault with a Dangerous Weapon; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office, Orlando Kavanaugh allegedly broke into Tina Gonsalves' Rockland apartment by breaking a window and then unlocking the back door. At some point during the unlawful entry, Gonsalves reportedly confronted and struggled with Kavanaugh, during which the handgun Kavanaugh allegedly was carrying went off, striking Gonsalves in the stomach. She later died of her wound at a Weymouth Hospital.

Afterwards, prosecutors allege that Kavanaugh ran to a waiting car outside, but not before he was also shot in the shoulder by Gonsalves' son, who had his own firearm.

Police reportedly recovered Kavanaugh's hooded sweatshirt from the scene, and also obtained video surveillance footage from a Brockton Hospital where he was dropped off to be treated for his own gunshot wound. The video footage reportedly also captured the alleged 'getaway vehicle', though it's not clear if anyone else has been charged or even arrested in connection with this incident.

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September 10, 2011

Roxbury Teen Charged with Shooting at Boston Police Officers


shooting.jpgTyre Wade, 19, was arrested this past week and charged with Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges for allegedly carrying and shooting at Boston Police Officers. He was charged with Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

According to the Boston Police Department, officers were in Roxbury this past week looking for what they described as "gang members known to have outstanding warrants." At a residence on Slayton Way, police came across several individuals, who allegedly fled upon the arrival of police officers.

One of the men, Tyre Wade, allegedly reached into his waist and pulled out a gun, which then discharged. He was eventually taken in custody and was subsequently arraigned in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court on Gun Charges.

What is unclear is whether Tyre Wade was one of the men believed to have an outstanding default warrant. If not, then Tyre Wade may have have a viable defense in his case in challenging his Search & Seizure.

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August 6, 2011

Boston Police Arrest Two on Gun Crimes Charges in Dorchester


gun.jpgAshawda Nelson, 19, and Noccokawon Pledger-Grant, 21, both of Dorchester, were arrested this past week on Massachusetts Gun Charges following a 'shots fired' report. Both men where charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Carrying a Loaded Firearm, and Discharging a Firearm with 500 feet of a Dwelling.

According to the Boston Police Department, officers responded to the area of Auckland Street in Dorchester on a report of shots having been fired. The two men were reportedly observed running in the direction of the Savin Hill MBTA Station when they were apprehended. During a search of one of the men, a firearm was allegedly recovered on his person.

Despite that a gun was reportedly seized from one of the men, this strength of the prosecutions case against these men will rise and fall on whether the officers had sufficient probable to immediately arrest these men. In similar types of cases, the police will inevitably rely on witness reports and the purported identification of the men. In circumstances where the description of the purported suspects is in question, the defense may have ample grounds to challenge the constitutionality of their arrest by litigating a Motion to Suppress Evidence.

In Search and Seizure cases where the constitutionality of the seizure and arrest of the person is successfully challenged, the evidence seized, in this case the firearm and ammunition, will be deemed 'suppressed' or inadmissible. If that were to happen in this case, the prosecution would presumably have no evidence against them and would be unable to move forward in its prosecution against them.

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July 26, 2011

Boston Man Arraigned for Murder of Ex-Girlfriend


Junior Fernandes, 22, of Boston's Dorchester section, was arraigned on Monday on Massachusetts Murder Charges and Gun Charges following the shooting death of his girlfriend, Alessa Castellon, last Sunday night.

Fernandes has been charged with First Degree Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Junior Fernandes allegedly shot Alessa Castellon early Monday morning after the two got into an argument outside his sister's apartment on Granger Street in Dorchester.

Following his arrest by Boston Police, Fernandes allegedly told police that he met with Alessa Castellon to talk about their relationship, when she began to assault him. According to police, Fernandes allegedly stated that he tried to walk away once Castellon began hitting and punching him, but he then pulled out a gun, fired a shot, and then 'blacked out' before driving away.

Following his Murder arraignment in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court, Fernandes was held without bail.

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July 4, 2011

West Roxbury Man Arrested on Massachusetts Gun & Assault Charges


Robert M. MacCormack, 32, of West Roxbury, was arrested on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges this past weekend after he allegedly pulled out a gun on a food delivery driver. MacCormack was arrested on gun crimes including Assault With a Dangerous Weapon and Improper Storage of a Firearm.

According to the Boston Police Department, police officers were approached by a delivery driver who said Robert MacCormack allegedly pulled out a gun on him as he was driving down Pender Street in West Roxbury. According to the driver, MacCormack allegedly pulled up to him after his delivery and questioned why he was driving down the street in a reckless manner. The driver alleges that he was threatened at this point by MacCormack allegedly pointing a gun at him.

Boston Police Officers who responded to the incident reported that Robert MacCormack is licensed to carry a firearm and arrested him. A search of MacCormack's house also yielded in the seizure of three guns and several rounds of ammunition.

Of particular concern in this case is what justification the Boston Police used in entering the home of Robert M. MacCormack and searching for and seizing his other lawfully owned weapons, presumably without a search warrant.

The Massachusetts Gun Laws of Improper Storage of a Firearm makes it unlawful for any person, whether properly licensed or not, to store a firearm or ammunition in any place unless the weapon is secured in a lock container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other device so as to render the weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.

A violation of Improper Storage of a Firearm in Massachusetts could result in imprisonment for up to 1 year; or for not less than 1 year and up to 10 years if the firearm is a "large capacity weapon or machine gun."

Under Massachusetts Gun Laws, a firearm is defined as "a pistol, revolver or other weapon...loaded or unloaded, from which a shot or bullet can be discharged..."

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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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February 22, 2011

Two Boston Men Arrested in Boston Shooting in Dorchester


Michael Wiggins, 18, and Lamar Brison, 20, were both arraigned this morning on Massachusetts Gun & Crimes of Violence Charges in connection with a shooting that left two people hospitalized. Each were charges with several Gun Crimes, including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Assault & Battery and Intimidation of a Witness.

According to the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, two men were shot in Dorchester's Codman Square on Monday at around 9:00 p.m. Both men were taken to Boston area hospitals with gun shot injuries that were reportedly non-life-threatening.

Later that night, Boston Police Officers were called to Boston's Carney Hospital where one of the gunshot victims was being treated to receive a report from a purported witness of the shootings. The unidentified woman told police that she had witnesses the shootings and thereafter was allegedly beat by Wiggins and Brison and threatened not to report what she had seen.

The woman, however, gave a description of the two individuals and Boston Police Officers arrested Michael Wiggins and Lamar Brison at a Dorchester apartment on Wheatland Avenue. A search of the apartment allegedly resulted in the seizure of several items of evidence related to the shooting, including clothing the witness described the two men as wearing that night, as well as a .22 caliber pistol.

Due to the serious nature and consequences, including minimum-mandatory jail sentences, you should immediately Contact a Boston Criminal Lawyer if charged with any Massachusetts Gun Crimes.

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February 11, 2011

Boston Teenager Charged with 2010 Murder on MBTA Bus


Kim Gross, Jr., 18, of the Roslindale section of Boston, was arrested and is facing Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the death of two men that occurred last November on an MBTA bus.

Gross is expected to be arraigned Monday in the West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court on First Degree Murder Charges, and possibly Aggravated Assault & Battery. He is also facing additional Massachusetts Gun Charges, including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, and Possession of a Loaded Firearm, for a gun that was allegedly found at the time of his arrest.

The Boston Police Department alleges that Gross was riding the MBTA's Route 44 bus in Dorchester on November 2, 2010, along with the two victims. While on the bus, Gross allegedly got into an argument with the two men, and a knife fight ensued. One of the men, Richard Allen, 21, was taken to Boston Medical Center where he was pronounced dead; while the other man survived the alleged attack.

According to the Boston Police Department, Kim Gross was reportedly under surveillance by Boston Police as well as the MBTA Transit Police Department. The car he was driving in was stopped yesterday by Boston Police, and a ballistics dog (one trained to find firearms) was called to sniff the car. The dog reportedly discovered a gun in the car Gross was in.

No additional details have been released relative to the circumstances surrounding the stabbing on the MBTA bus last November, so it's unclear if Gross was known to the surviving victim and if there any Identification Defense; or whether the alleged murder weapon was ever recovered and tested forensic evidence, such as fingerprint evidence, that might link Gross to the murder.

It was also reported that, at the time of his death, Richard Allen had criminal charges of Armed Robbery pending.

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February 5, 2011

Brockton Man Arrested on Massachusetts Drug and Gun Crimes Charges


James Widener, 35, of Brockton, was arrested this past week for allegedly violating Massachusetts Gun Laws and Drug Crimes. Being investigated by local, state and federal law enforcement, he was charged with several crimes, including:

Widener has also been charged as an Armed Career Criminal, which is a sentencing enhancement for those previously convicted of gun crimes.

According to Massachusetts police, Widener was under investigation for various crimes he allegedly committed over the past several months in Plymouth, Norfolk and Bristol Counties. Widener also was reported to have had outstanding Arrest Warrants for other alleged crimes in Quincy and Boston.

Widener was arrested along with Briana Tobin, 21, also of Brockton, while the two were traveling in a car in Kingston Thursday morning. After the car was stopped, police allegedly recovered a loaded handgun, a 12-round magazine, heroin and cocaine.

Following his arraignment in Brockton District Court, Widener was held on $50,000 cash bail, but was held for 60 days without bail after the judge revoked his bail out of the Quincy District Court.

Meanwhile, Briana Tobin was also charged with Possession of a Class B Substance; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm and Feeding Device; and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition. Following her arraignment, she was held on $2,500 cash bail and sent to a substance abuse treatment center.

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