Roslindale man charged with possession of 22 pounds of cocaine after Egleston Square traffic stop

Boston Police making a traffic stop yesterday wound up recovering 10 one-kilo blocks of cocaine from a hidden compartment in a mini-van, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

The driver of the van, Elvyn Rafael Garcia, 31, of Hyde Park Avenue, was ordered held in lieu of $30,000 bail at his arraignment in Roxbury District Court, according to the DA's office, which had requested bail of $1 million.

According to the DA's office, police already had their eye out for a green Nissan Quest spotted speeding down Brookside Avenue in Jamaica Plain when an officer noticed it on Seaver Street a few blocks away - noticed it had a faulty brake light and then watched as it bombed through a stop sign. That was enough for a traffic stop, at Walnut Avenue and School Street:

The officer pulled Garcia over and approached the car to find Garcia with his license in hand. In response to the officer's questions, Garcia allegedly appeared nervous and shaky as he acknowledged the faulty brake light and the fact that he wasn't the registered owner of the car. When the officer asked if there was anything in the car, he allegedly became more visibly anxious.

Based on his training and experience, the officer believed there might be contraband in the vehicle and called for assistance. A K-9 unit responded to the scene and "hit" on the area near the front passenger seat. Further investigation led officers to an aftermarket panel on the underside of the car and exposed wires inside that suggested a hidden compartment; they were able to open this compartment and found several blocks of what appeared to be narcotics inside.

Garcia was taken into custody and the Quest was towed to District E-13. A more thorough search yielded 10 blocks of cocaine, each weighing over one kilogram each.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

What is it with criminals

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and their inability to follow traffic laws while transporting large amounts of narcotics? This is onion territory stupidity if it didn't happen so much...

They are so used to breaking

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They are so used to breaking the law and getting away with it, that when a petty offense leads to the discovery of a major crime, it is a major surprise for them.

Oh puh-leeze

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You actually believe the "broken taillight" line?

They had intel; it wasn't good enough to stand up in court, so they needed another pretext for the stop.

If this arrest holds up I'll

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If this arrest holds up I'll be a monkey's uncle. We should all be scared to live in a country where you and your vehicle can be even temporarily detained for simply "appear{ing] nervous and shaky." Unless something has changed since I last read, you can't delay someone longer than a normal traffic stop to wait for a K9 unit without reasonable suspicion, which based on the facts above this officer did not have. Hopefully for the cops the K9 was right there, otherwise this dude is going back on the street. (Minus quite a bit of cash, though...).

You need more than "nervous" and "shaky"

But sometimes people are really nervous and shaky. That can make you nervous.

Drug traffickers often have a hard time answering simple questions about who owns the car, why they are driving it, where they are going, coming from, etc, etc.

Being nervous is never enough, but arrests like this will have some serious assistance from the DA (they get a cut of the cash!)

$30,000 bail when the D.A. requested $1M? Disgrace.

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Taking 10+ kilos off the street is the arrest of a lifetime. Strong work by the officer who made the stop. Meanwhile, if the bail was really set at $30,000 when $1M was requested, D.A. Conley should be holding a presser shaming the judge. No need to worry about whether the search was constitutional, the defendant will be out (if he isn't already) and long gone before any motions to supress are filed. What a disgrace.

Hopefully U.S. Attorney Ortiz moves for an indictment in federal court instead. Defendant will still be long gone but at least the US Marshals might be able to track him down.

Maybe

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Is he a repeat offender? Did he have gun on him, or has he been involved in violence before? Or gangs?

If it was only drugs, I tend to agree. Drugs suck, but the war on drugs sucks more and costs more then actually attacking the real issues. Attacking supply chains has only made it more profitable, more dangerous, and driven cash to increasing powerful cartels who now have more legitimacy than local governments in some nations.

My big issue is with judges releasing violent and dangerous offenders, especially repeat violent offenders on trivial bails.

Moving around some smack with no history, gets a big "meh" from me.

The only problem anon squared

Is that the drug trafficker often uses people with no criminal record to move drugs. Gives cops less of a reason to stop, frisk, search, etc the vehicle.

I would agree....

Unless Garcia cuts some kind of a deal, I don't see how he waits around for a 15-30 year prison sentence at age 31.

But stops like this do get thrown out all the time as the above poster mentioned.

Why is this "Strong work by the officer?"

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It seems like nice, but basic and by-the-book, effort. Comparable to "Strong work" by a Right Fielder catching a routine fly ball and holding a runner at second base. Thank you. I appreciate it, but it is very much a routine part of your job.

The fact that it was 10 kilos is important and great, but not relevant to the officer's actions.

It is strong work because....

A bad law enforcement officer might have shrugged off this guys nervousness and inability to answer simple questions because of the casual nervousness of your average traffic stop. The bad law enforcement officer might also not ask the right questions, or see things a good law enforcement might see. Your bad cop might also have tons of traffic stops like this that turn up nothing. The bad cop doesnt know when their is or isn't something more on a traffic stop.

The good law enforcement officer is going to realize something is extra suspucious on a stop like this. Even your average non criminal can get past the initial nervousness stage and answer easy questions.

So no, it's not routine. Being able to find vehicles with broken taillights is routine, as would a center fielder catching a "routine" fly ball.

Finding drug traffickers in cases like this or making diving catches in the outfield makes you a better cop or a better baseball player.

Unless you are a police officer and find making felony frug traffic arrests easy? In that case you would be right.

Warrants and Good cop versus Bad cop

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That the car was pulled over for speeding and running a stop sign I still wonder why the cop pulled this driver over? Speeding and running stop signs in JP is common. Was this a random or even "lucky" check? Or as suggested earlier was this car already under surveillance of some kind?

Did the cop need a warrant to look in the car? I don't remember the specifics of law concerning this kind of situation.

I hope however that most cops that would pull someone over would have sufficient training and experience to be able to determine whether the totality of evidence was sufficient to merit a deeper investigation. If this cop is the exception and most police don't have the expertise to make a assessment then I can't believe that we have a very good police force.

As far as this being a good cop that discussion raised questions in my mind. Are there bad - poorly performing, not corrupt - cops in the BPD?

Bow Wow Wow

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I get the impression that a lot of these are rhetorical questions ... or at least open to opinion rather than hard and fast answers ... but you don't need a warrant when a drug/bomb dog alerts on something and gives you probable cause for a search.

There are a lot of bad, lazy cops.

It is a civil service job. You can't be fired for poor performance, and there isn't really a long list of people wanting to be cops. The list has been very thin over the past 15 years, and a lot of cops don't go out of their way to look for crime. Some people (cops) have a knack for finding criminals on traffic stops. There are also some who push the boundaries of the motor vehicle exception doctrine which basically answers your second question.

No, you don't need a warrant to search a vehicle, you need probable cause that something illegal is in the vehicle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_exception

But you would also need probable cause before the dog was actually in the vehicle, you can't get probable cause after the dogs search.