Late Tuesday afternoon, two members of the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit, working with an FBI agent, arrested a Boston man in Chelsea who was carrying an illegally owned firearm and trafficking weight amounts of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on May 29, the Troopers and Agent were on patrol on Chelsea Street in East Boston when they observed a silver Volkswagen Passat driven by Bryan Cortez, 31, of Dorchester. One of the Troopers knew that Cortez did not have a valid driver’s license; the Troopers also recognized Cortez as the suspect who had dragged one of the Troopers with his car during a 2015 motor vehicle stop.
The Troopers and Agent followed the Passat onto Eastern Avenue in Chelsea, at which time they stopped it for the license violation. As they walked up to the suspect vehicle, it accelerated away at a high rate of speed. The Troopers and Agent followed in the direction in which the Passat had fled and soon located it at the top of Chester Avenue, a one-way street it had traveled up in the wrong direction.
As the cruiser approached the Passat, Cortez jumped out from the driver’s door and ran into a backyard. The Troopers and Agent searched for him on foot and in their cruiser, and eventually located him coming out of a backyard on Highland Street wearing a black backpack. A Trooper ordered him to stop, but Cortez ran away again. After a short foot pursuit and repeated commands for Cortez to stop running, he was cornered by the Trooper on the porch of a home on Highland Street. Cortez resisted arrest but was subdued.
A subsequent investigation revealed the contents of Cortez’s backpack to be a loaded Bersa Thunder 9 Ultra Compact 9mm pistol; several bags containing a white powder consistent with fentanyl; a bag containing 43 Suboxone strips; several plastic bags containing a hard white substance consistent with crack cocaine; a brown Gucci bag containing several small plastic baggies filled with a tan substance consistent with heroin; three unidentified pills; and plastic baggies containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.
The backpack also contained Cortez’s birth certificate, Social Security card, an RMV identification card, and an April 2018 mailing from the RMV notifying him of his license suspension. More than $1,240 in cash were also recovered from the backpack and Cortez’s person and seized as possible profits of narcotics trafficking.
Cortez acknowledged that he does not have a license to carry a firearm. Troopers transported him to the State Police Barracks in Revere, where he was booked on the following charges:
Unlawful possession of a firearm;
Unlawful carrying of a firearm, third offense;
Unlawful carrying of a loaded firearm;
Armed Career Criminal;
Possession of a firearm in commission of a felony;
Failure to stop for police;
Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license;
Negligent operation of a motor vehicle; and