One Less Gun: Simultaneous Traffic Stops Yield Two Illegal Firearms in Two Separate Incidents Across the City

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INCIDENT #1: At about 1:30 PM on Friday, January 6, 2017, members of the District B-3 (Mattapan) Drug Control Unit made an onsite arrest for firearm and drug related charges in the area of 75 Spring Street.

While conducting surveillance in an ongoing drug distribution investigation in the Mattapan and Dorchester areas, officers observed the target of their investigation, 36-year-old James Cooper of West Roxbury, operating a motor vehicle. While in the vehicle, the Cooper met with multiple individuals and conducted hand-to-hand exchanges that officers knew from their training and experience to be drug transactions. Officers were aware that the Cooper’s driver’s license was revoked, so they maintained surveillance of him and the vehicle while he drove to the area of 75 Spring Street. When Cooper exited the vehicle, officers approached him and took him into custody for Operating a Motor Vehicle after Revocation. A search of Cooper revealed a plastic bag containing crack cocaine, cocaine, and oxycodone pills (all packaged for sale), as well as over $300 in US currency. A search of the motor vehicle revealed a loaded Rossi Interarms .38 Special revolver inside a sock in the driver’s side door panel. Further investigation showed that the firearm had been reported stolen out of Brockton in 2016.

Officers arrested Cooper and charged him with Operating after Revocation, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (2nd Offense), Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Unlawfully Carrying a Loaded Firearm, Possession of Class B Drugs (Crack, Cocaine, Oxycodone) with Intent to Distribute, Receiving Stolen Property, and Armed Career Criminal Level 3.

INCIDENT #2: At about 2:20 PM on Friday, January 6, 2017, officers from District D-14 (Brighton) responded to a 911 tip to investigate a motor vehicle in the area of 284 North Beacon Street.

Acting on a tip from a 911 caller that the four occupants of a particular vehicle were acting suspiciously, officers located and set up surveillance on that vehicle. When officers observed the vehicle take a turn without signaling, they conducted a stop of the car and an investigation of the occupants. Shortly, officers learned that the operator of the vehicle, 24-year-old Nicholas Mason of Randolph, had a suspended driver’s license. All occupants were requested to exit the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed a loaded Springfield Armory .45 caliber firearm inside a bag that had been at the feet of the front seat passenger and from which the passenger had taken his ID to show the officers. Officers secured the firearm and took the passenger, 25-year-old Mauricio Lawrence of Dorchester, into custody. 

Mason was arrested charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle after Suspension. Lawrence was arrested and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition. Both backseat passengers were identified and released.