UPDATE – MSP, TAUNTON POLICE INVESTIGATING FATAL CRASH

The defendant in this investigation, HECTOR BANNISTER-SANCHEZ, 34, is currently being held following his arraignment in Taunton District Court. BANNISTER-SANCHEZ, who also is the subject of a previous open narcotics trafficking case in Bristol Superior Court, was the target of a current investigation for trafficking cocaine, fentanyl, and methamphetamine in southeastern Massachusetts. He was held without bail on the new offenses he was charged with on Monday and his bail on the open Superior Court case was revoked.

On Monday members of the State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction and Enforcement Team (CINRET) surveilled BANNISTER-SANCHEZ as he picked up narcotics from a stash house and drove to the home of a suspected customer on East Main Street in Middleborough. 

That surveillance was accomplished, in part, through a court-authorized GPS tracking device that investigators had covertly attached to the suspect’s Toyota Highlander. That tracking device was authorized by the Wareham District Court.

When the suspect pulled into the driveway of the home, CINRET troopers, who were in plainclothes and operating unmarked cruisers, exited their cruisers and approached the suspect vehicle on foot.

BANNISTER-SANCHEZ observed the Troopers and accelerated across the home’s front lawn, struck its front porch steps, almost struck a Trooper who was on foot, and drove off the property and fled back onto Main Street at a high rate of speed. 

Troopers returned to their unmarked cruisers and lost sight of the suspect vehicle. Troopers then broadcast a description of the suspect vehicle and began to attempt to locate it. 

Troopers were able to track the suspect vehicle’s location remotely through the court-authorized GPS tracking device, and a unit member broadcast the suspect’s route of flight as others drove in his direction, without having sight of the vehicle and not in active pursuit 

According to witness statements, the suspect continued to drive at a high rate of speed through Middleborough, Lakeville and Taunton. At separate times he was observed traveling at excessive speed by Middleborough Police and Lakeville Police Officers, who lost sight of him and did not pursue. 

The Troopers remotely tracking the GPS observed that the suspect turned from Route 79 onto Kingman Street. They then remotely observed via GPS tracking that the vehicle stopped moving on Kingman Street near the intersection with Seekell Street. 

Troopers and Officers responded to that location and found that the suspect’s Highlander had collided with a Ford Fusion operated by Lori Ann Medeiros, 54. Following the crash BANNISTER-SANCHEZ ran from his vehicle with a backpack. He was located and taken into custody a short distance away by bystanders and a Trooper. 

Mrs. Medeiros was extricated from her vehicle by firefighters and transported to Morton Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased. 

Preliminary crash reconstruction by the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section determined that the suspect vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Kingman and was unable to negotiate a right-bearing curve. The Highlander entered the southbound side of the roadway. Mrs. Medeiros attempted to steer out of the way of the suspect vehicle, but the Highlander collided with the front driver’s side of the Fusion and pushed it into a utility pole. 

BANNISTER-SANCHEZ was transported to Morton Hospital where he was examined for potential injuries from the crash and released to MSP custody. He was booked on charges of manslaughter and motor vehicle homicide at the State Police-Middleboro Barracks. 

Later on Monday, the MSP CINRET unit obtained warrants to search properties associated with BANNISTER-SANCHEZ.

At a Quincy location, investigators seized a large amount of US currency and paperwork in the Defendant’s name. 

At a Norton location investigators seized the following:

  • Approximately 750 grams of suspected cocaine;
  • Approximately 70 grams of suspected fentanyl (light brown substance);
  • Approximately 240 grams of suspected fentanyl pills;
  • Approximately 182 grams of suspected methamphetamine pills;
  • Additional US Currency;
  • A Glock 19 firearm with a large capacity magazine with 11 rounds;
  • Drug packaging materials; 
  • Drug ledger and notes; and
  • Paperwork in the defendant’s name.

At the Norton address, investigators located JILLIAN HAYNES, 34, who is alleged to be BANNISTER-SANCHEZ’s girlfriend and accomplice in the drug trafficking operation. 

HAYNES was also arrested and charged with trafficking fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a firearm and of a large-capacity feeding device, and unlawful possession of ammunition. 

The total amount of US currency seized by investigators was $88,298 in cash, attributable to drug trafficking profits. 

Based on the recovery of this evidence, BANNISTER-SANCHEZ is being additionally charged with:

  • Trafficking in Cocaine over 200 grams;
  • Trafficking in Fentanyl over 10 grams;
  • Trafficking in Methamphetamine over 100 grams;
  • Possession of a Firearm without an Firearm Identification Card (FID Card);
  • Possession of Ammunition without FID card; and
  • Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device. 

He is also being charged with assault with a dangerous weapon for attempting to strike a Trooper with his motor vehicle outside the Middleborough home. 

The cases are being prosecuted by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office (the motor vehicle homicide and trafficking/firearm offenses) and the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office (the initial motor vehicle violations and suspect’s attempt to strike a Trooper with his vehicle).