Springfield streets became the backdrop for the arrest of a man with a history of firearm and drug charges, this time while sporting a court-ordered GPS bracelet. 20-year-old Jose Santiago-Pacheco, who was previously nabbed by cops on September 22, couldn't seem to stay out of hot water, as reported by the Springfield Police Department.
According to the Springfield Police Department's official release, SPD officers and the Firearms Investigation Unit, spearheaded by Sergeant Elizer Vasquez, caught Santiago-Pacheco and an accomplice with a loaded large-capacity firearm—all thanks to a traffic stop gone awry yesterday afternoon. And to quickly set a new record, the apprehension marked the city's 317th illegal firearm recovery of the year.
It all started when detective eyes spotted a car lacking proper inspection at the intersection of School and High Streets. The driver, later identified as 25-year-old Jennifer Oquendo, made a questionable turn onto State Street and hesitantly complied with officers' efforts to pull over. During the stop, officers noted Santiago-Pacheco in the passenger seat, trying to surreptitiously adjust a fanny pack, which was later found to be the hiding place for the illegal firearm.
While Santiago-Pacheco had been previously entrusted by the courts to walk freely, albeit with a GPS tracker tightly secured to his ankle, it seemed he was far from willing to fully embrace the straight and narrow path. In the fateful encounter, Santiago-Pacheco, along with Oquendo, found themselves in handcuffs—the former for carrying a loaded firearm with a defaced serial number, lacking a license, and brazenly displaying it in public. Oquendo faced her own set of charges for driving unlicensed, ignoring police signals, and missing an inspection sticker.
The latest brush with the law put Santiago-Pacheco at risk of further complicating his legal woes, with the GPS bracelet doing little to prevent the re-offense. As Springfield Police continue to fight the tide of illegal weapons on their streets, it serves as a stark reminder that the devices intended to deter criminal activity aren't fail-safes. As for Oquendo and Santiago-Pacheco, their bid to outmaneuver the law landed them both behind bars, awaiting the cold hand of justice in Springfield District Court.