By Jim Clark
Members of the Somerville Police Drug Unit received information from a confidential informant regarding someone who was actively selling cocaine in and around the city of Somerville, according to police reports.
The informant has given previous information to police that resulted in several arrests and convictions of people who violated controlled substance laws.
The informant was reportedly able to give information, including a physical description, of the suspect in question, Bryan Taborda, of East Boston.
Surveillance was established on several occasions where observations were made of Taborda making what detectives believed to be frequent short trips to different areas of the city of Somerville.
During these trips, Taborda reportedly engaged in what was believed to be street level drug transactions. On three separate occasions, Taborda reportedly entered the dwelling of a well-known cocaine user and quickly exited. After these trips a rolling surveillance of Taborda was maintained.
Taborda would head to an address in Somerville where police reportedly observed him meeting with Joao De Souza. According to reports, De Souza is well known to members of the Somerville Police Drug Unit as he was previously arrested for possession of cocaine.
Taborda was observed exiting his car and meeting De Souza at an intersection of Somerville. During these encounters, observations were reportedly made of Taborda handing an item to De Souza and receiving money in return. At this time, De Souza and Taborda would go their separate ways.
Based on their experience, investigators believed that they were witnessing street level drug transactions. Due to the ongoing investigation, surveillance was terminated as to not compromise its objective.
On Friday, March 3, members of the Somerville Police Narcotics unit reportedly observed De Souza pacing back in forth, on and off his cell phone, in the area of the Winter Hill Market. Police noted that this was the exact behavior De Souza engaged in during their previous observations of his meetings with Taborda.
Surveillance De Souza continued as he walked to a residence in Somerville. He was observed pacing back and forth, making multiple quick phone calls on his cell phone once again, police said.
De Souza reportedly entered a residence at approximately 7:00 p.m. and within ten minutes Taborda was observed traveling to this address. He reportedly parked his vehicle in front of a fire hydrant, one house away from this residence. Taborda appeared to be on his cell phone as he exited his vehicle and walked into the residence.
A few minutes later Taborda reportedly exited the residence, entered his car and began driving. It was at this time that detectives conducted a motor vehicle stop in front of the residence to conduct a threshold inquiry of Taborda. Detectives removed Taborda from his vehicle as he was moving around in a furtive manner.
Taborda was asked where he had just come from and he reportedly stated that he had parked his vehicle but never exited it. Taborda was also asked if he entered any houses, to which he replied he did not.
Taborda was informed that detectives had observed him entering a residence. At this time, Taborda became extremely nervous and began breathing heavily, according to reports.
Taborda was then asked if he had any drugs on his person and he reportedly began to stutter, but would not reply.
As police spoke with Taborda, De Souza exited the residence and began to walk up the street towards their location, not realizing they had just stopped Taborda.
Officers stopped De Souza and handcuffed him as they learned that he had an active arrest warrant. De Souza was questioned and asked where he had just been come from and what he had been doing. De Souza reportedly stated that he and another male had ordered cocaine and had been waiting inside a residence for the delivery. De Souza then stated that the delivery was never made, and went on to say that the cocaine order was supposed to be delivered by “that kid” as he looked over at Taborda and gestured towards him.
A cursory search of Taborda’s person was conducted and an abnormal bulge in his groin area was felt. Taborda was once again asked if he had any drugs on his person, but he reportedly refused to reply.
Detectives continued the search and were able to determine that Taborda had something hidden in his groin area. A small black bag containing a large clear glassine bag with several smaller baggies of a white powdery substance was reportedly located in Taborda’s underwear. It was believed by police that the white powdery substance was cocaine.
Taborda was placed under arrest and transported to the Somerville Police Department where he was booked in the usual manner.
Taborda’s car was towed and transported to the Somerville Police garage.
Police noted that Taborda was in possession of $1,572 in cash, and two cellular phones at the time of arrest.
The preliminary weight of the white powdered substance believed to be cocaine totaled approximately 40 grams. It was field-tested positive for cocaine.
During a search of Taborda’s vehicle, a false bottom container was located under the front passenger side seat.
De Souza was placed under arrest on warrant charges of possession of a class B drug and resisting arrest.