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Traffic Stop For Cell Phone Use Results In Impaired Driver Arrested For Drugs And Illegal Gun

On the afternoon of March 9, 2024, Trooper Jonathan Blanchard, a member of the State Police-Springfield Barracks, was conducting patrol on Armory Street at Route 291 in Springfield. It was then, that Trooper Blanchard saw a Nissan Altima drive past with no front plate, and the operator holding an electronic device in front of his face.

Trooper Blanchard conducted a traffic stop of the Nissan and made contact with the operator, who provided a Massachusetts driver’s license. Trooper Blanchard conducted an RMV check of that license and discovered it had been suspended. Due to the suspended status of the license, Trooper Blanchard, now backed up by Trooper Sean Clark, returned to the operator and removed him from the vehicle. Trooper Clark turned to an inventory of the vehicle prior to a tow.  

Trooper Clark located in a pouch being worn by the operator at the time of the stop, a magnum .22 caliber revolver loaded with 4 rounds of ammunition. The operator did not possess a license to carry a firearm and was placed under arrest.  With the discovery of the firearm, the two Troopers turned to a search of the Nissan. The Troopers additionally discovered an unsealed bag of marijuana, an open can of “THC soda”, and a plastic container with cocaine inside.

The vehicle was towed and the operator was transported to the Springfield Barracks.

During the booking process, in the operator’s personal items a second Massachusetts driver’s license was found. Through asking other questions, Trooper Blanchard was able to determine the second license was that of the operator, ROBERT ARNOLD, 38, of Springfield. ARNOLD’s identity was also confirmed through the fingerprinting process. ARNOLD’s license was also suspended, like the false identity he had provided. ARNOLD was additionally photographed and booked in accordance with MSP policy.

ROBERT ARNOLD was arraigned in Springfield District Court on charges of:

1.        Unlicensed Possession Of A Firearm;

2.       Possession Of Ammunition Without FID;

3.       Carrying A Loaded Firearm;

4.       Possession Of Cocaine;

5.       OUI Drugs;

6.       Operator’s Refusal To Properly Identify;

7.       Operation With A Suspended License;

8.       Operation While Holding An Electronic Device;

9.       Number Plate Violation; and

10.   Failure To Wear Seatbelt.


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