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Fall River Crime and Gang Task Force nets shooting, drug arrests

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Fall River Police have issued an update on the work accomplished by a new joint task force.

Beginning on Friday June 22, 2018, Chief Albert F. Dupere ordered the organization of a joint Crime & Gang Impact Task Force which was comprised of a rotation of officers from Major Crimes Division, Vice & Intelligence Division, Special Operations Division and Uniform Division. This group of individuals also worked in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and members of the FBI Gang Task Force. This team effort focused specifically on disrupting and destroying illegal drug, gang activity and violent crimes. Most importantly striving to make a significant impact on recent targeted gang related gun violence that had been plaguing certain areas of the city.

This newly formed team reached resolutions on two shootings that occurred in June on Pine Street, an armed robbery & shooting incident on Water Street, and a shooting occurring in broad daylight on Rocliffe Street in July. They also apprehended numerous known violent fugitives and gang members. In total, they made approximately 38 Arrests. Of those arrests, 5 involved gun related incidents, 7 were drug related, and 24 were of Gang Members or known gang associates. One arrest was a fugitive who was involved in a shooting in Maine and fled to Fall River.

According to the statement, the Fall River Police Department expressed their mission to reduce the fear of crime and improving the quality of life in the neighborhoods that were victimized by these crimes. The incidents investigated throughout this operation all were targeted acts of violence against rival gang members and associates.

In just over a month, this task force placed many gang members in jail and seized numerous illegal firearms off the streets of Fall River. According to FRPD, the team also worked heavily on gathering intelligence in order to better understand the gang crime patterns in the city, how to proactively prevent violent crime, and also act quickly toward resolution in the wake of an incident.

The latest notable activity from the Task Force resulted in two arrests and a firearm seizure. On July 26, Officer Matthew Mendes, while assigned to the Task Force, gathered intelligence of a location that the violent street gang known as the “Asian Boyz” were using as a hangout. Further investigation revealed that two of the members were identified as Christopher Dejesus and a 16 year old juvenile. It was determined they were possibly present in the basement common area of 14 Downing Street.

Further information gathered from social media was video footage of the individuals mentioned holding firearms and pointing them toward the camera while being recorded. One of the firearms viewed was very distinct with a tan/cream colored grip and an extended magazine. Officers also noted the area in the background of the videos.

Sgt. Brett Kimball, Officers Kevin BShara, Kwin Silva, Greg Homen, Fred Mello, Matt Mendes and Detectives Rick Aguiar, Luis Duarte, Eric Copsetta began undercover surveillance in the area of 14 Downing Street. While conducting surveillance they observed Dejesus and the juvenile standing in the yard of the residence. Due to the belief these individuals may be armed, officers began exiting their vehicle and attempted to encounter these suspects. Dejesus attempted to flee but was detained. The juvenile fled through the basement common area but was intercepted as he attempted to exit through the front entry. In the basement common area, officers located the same distinct firearm with the unique grip and extended magazine in plain view. The scene was immediately secured and a search warrant was applied for by Officer Matt Mendes.

Once the search warrant was executed, a further search was conducted and Detective Duarte located a plastic bag containing twelve (12) rounds of ammunition hidden in the drop ceiling of the basement. The firearm was also seized and it was identified as a Springfield Armory 1911 .45 caliber semi automatic pistol equipped with a high capacity loaded extended magazine.

Christopher Dejesus, 19, was also taken into custody and charged with the following crimes:

• Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm
• Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device
• Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card
• Firearm Violation with 1 prior violent/drug crime conviction
The 16 year old juvenile was charged with:
• Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm
• Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device
• Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card
• Firearm Violation with 1 prior violent/drug crime conviction

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