Major Cache of Weapons, Drugs Seized After Search Warrant

A 72-year-old Chelsea man was held on high bail after his arraignment this week on 20 separate charges resulting from Chelsea Police discovering firearms, ammunition, stun guns, and drugs inside two apartments he occupied.

Frederick J. Bonamo, 72, was arraigned in Chelsea District Court Monday on four counts each of unlawful firearm possession and possession of an electric stun gun; two counts of trafficking in heroin; and one count each of possession with intent to distribute a class B substance, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a class C substance, possession of a class E substance, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Because the drugs were allegedly kept within 1000’ of the Phoenix Charter Academy, Bonamo was additionally charged with violating the state’s drug laws in a school or park zone. He was also charged as a Level III armed career criminal based on gun and drug convictions dating back to 1968.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Henry requested Bonamo be held on $500,000 bail.

Judge Paul Yee set bail at $100,000.

Around 3:30 p.m. Friday, Chelsea Police executed a search warrant at two apartments occupied by Bonamo inside a Harvard Street building as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, prosecutors said.

Police approached Bonamo as he was stopped in his Toyota Prius at the intersection of Laurel and Harvard streets.  During a pat frisk, police found a box of .22 caliber ammunition and a prescription bottle containing what are believed to be Suboxone, Oxycodone, and Gabapentin tablets in Bonamo’s pocket, prosecutors said.  Inside his wallet, police found $1,400 and a baggie containing 13 Oxycodone pills, and prosecutors said he had another $1,092 in loose bills in his pocket.

Police placed Bonamo under arrest and began a search of the two apartments.

In one apartment, prosecutors said police discovered a .22 caliber revolver, a .32 caliber revolver with no identifiable serial number, a .32 caliber revolver, a 12 gauge shotgun with no serial number, and ammunition for the weapons.  All of the weapons were found inside a suitcase.  A floor safe in the apartment contained multiple prescription bottles holding hundreds of pills believed to be Oxycodone, Suboxone, Morphine, Seroquel, Gabapentin, and Clonazepan, and prosecutors said two other pill bottles held a substance that field tested positive as crystal methamphetamine.

During a search of a second apartment at the same address, police discovered another safe holding $7,000 in cash banded into bundles and prescription bottles containing several hundred Oxycodone pills, prosecutors said.  Police additionally discovered four stun guns, crystal methamphetamine and .32 caliber ammunition inside the apartment.

Inside a recently repaired half-wall was a canvas bag resembling those used for bank deposits containing a large amount of coins, as well as a brown paper bag holding commemorative coins, prosecutors said.

Bonamo’s arrest was the second in recent weeks for major firearms violations on the North Shore.

Damien Hutchinson, 30, of Revere was arrested in Providence, Rhode Island, on March 21 and arraigned in Chelsea District Court on March 25 on charges stemming from an investigation by Revere Police, State Police, and federal agents. He allegedly took part in the sale of three illegal .22 caliber handguns and four boxes of ammunition to a cooperating witness who paid him $900.  Prosecutors recommended $150,000 cash bail; his bail was set at $30,000 and he was ordered held for allegedly violating the terms of his open probation.

Bonamo was represented by Alfred Farese Jr.  He will return to court on May 1.

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