Just after 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, A Trooper assigned to the Massachusetts State Police Troop D Community Action Team was observing eastbound traffic on Route 195 in Dartmouth. While stationary, The Trooper’s attention was drawn to a white Toyota sedan with window tint so dark that the Trooper could not see into the vehicle, despite the daylight hour. The Trooper found an opening in traffic, accelerated his cruiser, and positioned himself behind the Toyota. An electronic query of the vehicle also revealed that the registered owner had a driver’s license that was currently suspended. It was then that the Trooper turned on his blue lights and initiated a motor vehicle stop.
The Trooper made contact with the owner, operator, and sole occupant of the vehicle, EDWIN POLANCO, 27, of New Bedford. When the Trooper directed POLANCO to produce his license and registration, it was confirmed through conversation that POLANCO’s license was in fact suspended. As the traffic stop continued, POLANCO became increasingly anxious and reluctant to follow the instructions of the Trooper. After POLANCO eventually agreed to step out of the vehicle due to his suspended license, a tow was called for to remove the vehicle from the roadway.
As the Trooper was conducting an inventory of the vehicle’s contents for accountability purposes, he located an open backpack belonging to POLANCO with a large amount of marijuana inside of it. When the Trooper removed the marijuana from the backpack, he discovered a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun loaded with 8 rounds of ammunition. POLANCO ‘s license to carry a firearm has been suspended in Massachusetts. At this time POLANCO was secured in handcuffs and placed under arrest.
The Trooper secured the firearm and marijuana and transported POLANCO to the Dartmouth barracks in his cruiser for booking.
POLANCO was scheduled to appear in New Bedford District Court on the following charges:
1. Carrying a Loaded Firearm;
2. Possession of a Firearm in a Felony;
3. Possession of a Firearm without an FID Card;
4. Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card;
5. Improper Storage of a Firearm;
6. Possession of Marijuana with intent to Distribute;
7. Operation of a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License; and
8. Window Tint violation (7% visible light transmission).