One Less Gun: Excessive Window Tint, Secret Compartments Could Not Conceal Guns & Drugs from Officers


At about 11:44 AM on Sunday, January 4, 2015, officers from District E-18 (Hyde Park) conducted a motor vehicle stop in the area of Hyde Park Avenue and Cummins Highway.

While on patrol in the above area, officers observed a motor vehicle with an illegal aftermarket window tint. Upon stopping the vehicle and making contact with the operator, officers immediately observed the driver behaving erratically, waving his hands, and speaking very quickly in Spanish. Officers performed a brief visual canvas of the areas in plain view inside the vehicle and observed several indicators of possible aftermarket “hides” and compartments that officers know through their training and experience are often used to conceal weapons and drugs. Officers also observed two abnormally large bulges in the operator’s pants, and fearing the presence of a weapon, officers requested the driver step out and submit to a pat frisk. Officers determined that the bulges were the driver’s large wallet and a large sum of money.

Due to the driver’s abnormally nervous behavior and the indicators within the car, officers requested permission to search the vehicle. The driver agreed, and the search did in fact reveal several hidden compartments containing illegal contraband. From these compartments officers recovered:

  • One loaded Ravon .25 caliber pistol
  • One loaded Tanfogilio .25 caliber pistol
  • One box of 48 rounds of ammunition
  • Seven plastic bags of cocaine, totaling 164 grams
  • Four plastic bags of heroin, totaling 139 grams
  • Five plastic bags of an unknown white powdery substance believed to be a cutting agent
  • Three plastic bags of an unknown tan substance believed to the cutting agent Fentanyl
  • Several bags coffee grounds and peanut brittle, commonly used as masking agents
  • Various drug paraphernalia
  • Over $3,000 in US currency
  • A document containing the operator’s name

Upon the operator’s arrest, officers discovered that the operator’s true identity was different from the name on his driver’s license and documents he had originally provided. Further investigation revealed that he was operating under a stolen identity, and ICE had issued a deportation warrant for the suspect’s true identity.

Twenty-five-year-old Franci Manuel Soto Pimentel of Dorchester was arrested and issued a citation for Excessive Window Tint, Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Refusal to Submit to Police Officer, and Exhibiting License of Another. He was additionally charged with the following offenses: Unlawful Possession of Firearm (2 Counts), Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm (2 Counts), Unlawful Possession of Ammunition (2 Counts), Trafficking Class A Substance (100-199 grams), Trafficking Class B Substance (100-199 grams), School Zone Violation, Identity Fraud, and Providing False Name after Arrest.