Amesbury, Massachusetts police had their work cut out for them early Saturday morning when they stopped a 2002 Pontiac sedan operating erratically on Route 110. When Officer David Noyes activated his lights the car’s four occupants started behaving strangely. When he contacted the driver he noticed the smell of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle. Noyes quickly learned that the driver had a warrant out of the Newburyport District Court for an OUI conviction and that he was operating on a revoked driver’s license. The passengers had become unruly and Noyes called for assistance. The responding officers patted down the passengers and conducted a search of the car. During the search the police located a loaded semi-automatic firearm. A small bag of cocaine was found on one of the passengers and two additional bags were located in the car. All four had criminal records including cocaine distribution, larceny of a motor vehicle, robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon. Three of the subjects had pending criminal cases in other courts.
As a result of this incident several charges were filed in the Newburyport District Court including carrying a firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of cocaine, OUI second offense, driving with a revoked license, open container violation and minor in possession of alcohol. Bail for each was set at $25,000 pending arraignment.
Of all the charges these guys are facing the most serious is the gun possession charge. In Massachusetts possession of a firearm is proscribed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter Section 10. The law states that anyone who carries a firearm without being properly licensed to do so is guilty of a felony. There is a mandatory minimum eighteen month sentence that you must serve if you are convicted of this crime. The firearm charges in this case might be very difficult for the prosecution to prove. All four defendants are charged with possessing the gun. This is because the police were unable to determine who actually possessed the weapon. While there can be a joint venture theory used by the prosecution to attribute possession to all defendants the likelihood of getting convictions of this basis is slim.
Recently in Essex County the district attorney’s office has been fingerprinting firearms in cases such as this. If the prints match up to one of the occupants in the car a conviction against that person becomes more likely. Essex County has a gun court now held in Peabody. This might be where this case is ultimately prosecuted.
Attorney Stephen Neyman has been defending people accused of committing crimes in Massachusetts for over twenty years. Our office can be reached by calling 617-263-6800. You can also contact us online.
Si usted habla español contacta a nuestro asistente de abogado Maria Rivera en 617-877-6270.