One Less Gun: Officers Arrest Two and Recover One Illegal Firearm and Drugs in Roxbury

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At about 6:06 PM on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, members of the Citywide Neighborhood Drug Control Unit affected an on-site arrest of a person with an illegal firearm in the area of Walnut Avenue and Bower Street in District B-2 (Roxbury).

While conducting an on-going drug investigation in the area of Charlame Park Homes, officers observed persons known to them as members of a local street gang congregating in a group. The officers observed that one individual in particular glanced about furtively, appeared to be monitoring vehicular traffic in the area, clutched and adjusted his waistband periodically with his right hand, and sprinted quickly from the area upon seeing an unmarked police vehicle drive into the area. From their training and experience, the officers believed these movements were consistent with those of an individual who may be armed with a firearm.

At that time, officers radioed for a marked unit to assist them in stopping the individual to make an inquiry. As the officers in the marked police vehicle approached the suspect, he fled on foot from the officers. A pursuit ensued during which the officers observed the suspect discard a firearm from his waistband while holding onto a black object in his left hand. After a brief but violent struggle, the officers were able to apprehend the suspect. As the suspect was placed into custody, officers observed the black object fall out of the suspect's left hand. The black object was identified as a black magazine loaded with 10 rounds of 9mm ammunition. The officers returned to the location where the suspect had discarded the firearm, and officers discovered a 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic firearm without a magazine.

Because it is illegal for persons under 21-years-old to possess a firearm in Massachusetts, 18-year-old Melvin Harrison of Plymouth was placed under arrest and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition. The officers also determined that the firearm was stolen, and therefore added an additional charge of Buying/Receiving Stolen Property.

Pursuant to the original drug investigation, officers also arrested 26-year-old Erick Rivera of Roxbury with a medium-sized bag of what appeared to be marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and over $2,400.00 in U.S. currency on his person. Rivera was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Class D Substance within 1000 Ft. of a School Zone.