Scott D. Benton, Chief of Police
20 Essex St
Whitman, MA 02382
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Whitman Police Arrest Four on Gun Charges
WHITMAN — Chief Scott D. Benton reports that the Whitman Police Department arrested three men and a woman on Monday night and charged them with illegally possessing a gun during a traffic stop.
STEEVENS CHARLES, AGE 25, OF BROCKTON, BERNADIN FRANCOIS, AGE 23, OF DORCHESTER, SEBASTIEN GASSANT, AGE 23, OF MATTAPAN and NAILAH SANON, AGE 19, OF DORCHESTER were each arrested and charged with:
- Carrying a Loaded Firearm Without a License
- Possession of Ammunition Without a FID Card
- Carrying a Firearm Without a License
- Felony Possession of a Firearm With a Defaced Serial Number
- Attempt to Commit a Crime
The four were arraigned today in Brockton District Court and were ordered to be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Friday.
At approximately 10:15 p.m. on Monday, Whitman Police received a 911 call reporting that a group of four people were seen in the area of Central Street carrying guns, wearing masks and wearing dark clothing.
Officers responded to Central Street where they located a vehicle parked on the side of the road with four people inside, later identified as CHARLES, FRANCOIS, GASSANT and SANON.
In speaking with FRANCOIS, who was in the driver’s seat, he told police that he was an Uber driver. FRANCOIS could not tell the officers where he was going or what he was doing parked on Central Street.
While speaking with the individuals in the car FRANCOIS shifted in his seat, allegedly revealing the barrel of a rifle tucked between the seat and the center console.
FRANCOIS, CHARLES, GASSANT and SANON were immediately ordered to show their hands and the officers called for backup. Officers from Hanson, East Bridgewater and the Plymouth County Bureau of Criminal Investigation, who were all in the area of Central Street, responded and helped to place the four suspects in custody without further incident.
In searching the vehicle, officers allegedly found and seized a Highpoint 9mm short barrel rifle loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition. They also confiscated a black BB gun pistol, a rubber mask and a black ski mask as evidence. The rifle was found to have had its serial number scraped off.
Through the subsequent investigation, a witness told police that he saw the four suspects walk to the back stairway of a home carrying the guns and wearing masks prior to police arriving.
“I want to thank our law enforcement partners from the other communities who responded to provide assistance in backing up our officers,” Chief Benton said. “This was excellent police work that resulted in the apprehension of individuals that posed a great threat to public safety and the citizens of Whitman.”
These are allegations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.