A routine traffic stop in Somerville this past Sunday, September 2, 2012, at around 4pm ballooned into a much more significant event. Officer Robert Hickey was working routine traffic enforcement duty when he noticed a 2004 BMW speeding on Medford Street. After following the car and watching it increase in speed, he activated his sirens and pulled the car over by Thurston Street. The driver, Sherwood Gustave, 37, of Mattapan was arrested after it was revealed that he had been driving with a suspended license.
After backup police arrived, an empty pistol holster was discovered in the backseat of the BMW. This discovery led to a thorough search of the vehicle which revealed eight handguns in total. Six of them were loaded. Later, it was confirmed that two of the handguns had been reported as stolen. Neither Gustave nor either of the two passengers possess a license to carry firearms. All three were charged with unlawful possession of handguns and ammunition. Sherwood Gustave was also charged with driving with a suspended license and speeding. The trio of suspects were presumed to be arraigned in Somerville court this Tuesday morning. There has not yet been any word from their legal counsel.
Chief Thomas Pasquarello praised the work of his officers, extolling them for a job that helped to make their community a “little safer.” The following is a list of the discovered weapons:
Springfield 9 millimeter high capacity handgun
Taurus .45 high capacity handgun
Smith & Wesson 9 millimeter high capacity handgun
Glock 23 40-caliber high capacity handgun
Taurus .357 Magnum
Jennings . 22
Gustave is being held on $10,000 bail. Bail was set at $25,000 for Vital, and $500 for Paulino.
What adds greater significance to this arrest are facts discussed in an August 24, 2011 article by criminologist James Alan Fox. According to the most recent statistics, though Boston’s murder rate has dropped significantly since its darker days of overwhelming gang violence in the early nineties, just over eighty-five percent of all of Boston’s 2011 homicides were committee with firearms.
According to another article in the Boston Globe, the cost of a single gunshot victim, from initial medical attention to the years of physical and psychological therapy, to repairing damaged property and cleaning up a bloody crime scene, can be exorbitant. The cost of loss property values and school districts losing funding as residents move to new neighborhoods should also be taken into consideration as well. But most importantly, along with possibly saving the city and its residents unnecessary expenses, the work of these officers have almost certainly saved a few lives with this arrest.
If you, or anybody you know, have any questions, concerns, or need for consultation in regards to a criminal case, please feel free to contact Altman and Altman at any time.