A man with a record that includes convictions for armed assault with intent to murder and assault with a dangerous weapon was arrested early yesterday on weapons and drug charges after police spotted the car he was in weaving and ignoring a traffic signal, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Silas Rankins, 33, was a passenger in a car stopped around 3 a.m. on Howland Street, the DA's office says:
While approaching the vehicle, police saw the front seat passenger – later identified as Rankins – making movements in which he dipped down and then moved his body back. They then saw him quickly moving his hand away from his waist as police appeared at the car’s window, according to prosecutors. In light of their training and experience, the officers believed that he may have concealed a weapon in his waistband.
According to prosecutors, police discovered a baggie of suspected crack cocaine on Rankins during a pat frisk, and Rankins tried to move away from police and swung his arms as officers attempted to handcuff him. During a further search, a blue Cobra .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun fell out of Rankins’ right pant leg. The weapon was loaded with five rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, prosecutors said, and the safety was off, ready to fire. Rankins could not provide a license to carry the handgun and later allegedly made statements that he had found it in a field near Woodledge Street.
Rankins was charged with carrying a loaded firearm without a license, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of a Class B substance, unlawfully carrying a firearm as a third offense and being a Level II armed career criminal, the DA's office says. In a statement, DA Dan Conley says:
This defendant was carrying a loaded handgun with a round in the chamber and the safety off. There's no telling what the arresting officers prevented when they made this arrest.
Rankins was also cited for not wearing a seat belt.
Prosecutors asked for bail of $100,000 and a requirement that Rankins wear a GPS device at his arraignment yesterday. Roxbury District Court Judge Franco Gobourne set bail at $10,000 and denied the request for GPS monitoring.
The car's driver, Dwayne Rocker, 20, was charged with driving with a higher-than-allowed blood-alcohol level for somebody under 21.