WESTFIELD – Three illegal pistols – one stolen, one with a defaced serial number and one a high-capacity weapon – are off the streets after city detectives, backed by the police Special Response Team (SRT), executed a pair of warrants on Main and East Bartlett streets Wednesday.
The two warrants were issued as a result of an ongoing narcotics investigation and Det. James Renaudette reports in court documents a subject of the warrants, Dawud Lubieddin, 44, was stopped in his vehicle near his home at the Bancroft Apartments, 125 Main St., Apt. B4, shortly before the officers executed a search warrant there.
Renaudette reports that inside the apartment the detectives found three pistols in a bag of clothes. The guns included a loaded and unsecured 9 mm Ruger LC9 semi-automatic pistol, a loaded and unsecured 9 mm Walther PPX semi-automatic pistol with a 16 round magazine and a loaded and unsecured 9 mm High-point semi-automatic pistol with a defaced serial number.
The Ruger had been reported to have been stolen in Springfield, the Walther is a large capacity firearm and the 16 round magazine is defined as a large capacity feeding device. None of the loaded firearms were equipped with a trigger lock or any other device which would prevent them from being fired., Renaudette reports.
He also reports that Lubieddin is a convicted felon and does not have a Firearms Identification Card (FID) nor a License to Carry (LTC) firearms.
At his arraignment Friday, Assistant District Attorney Clarissa Wright pointed out that, not only does Lubieddin have neither a FTC nor a LTC, he is prohibited from possessing a legal firearm due to a previous assault conviction.
Renaudette reported to the court that detectives also found in the apartment “items only a cocaine dealer would possess. This include dealer blow outs (the parts of plastic bags left after a corner containing a small amount of cocaine and been torn off the bag), digital scales and a mat that was used as a work space with cocaine powder on it.”
The detectives found “that quite a bit of cocaine was let behind on the mat. There was enough that it could be packaged and sold” which Renaudette suggests that Lubieddin was packaging so much cocaine for sale that “this amount left behind was too trivial to package and sell.”
Lubieddin was arrested and appeared before Judge Mathew Shea in Westfield District court on Friday and was arraigned on three charges of improper storage of a firearm, two charges of possession of a firearm without a FID card and possession of a large capacity firearm and single charges of possession of a Class B drug with intent to distribute, possession of ammunition without a FID, receiving a firearm with a defaced identification number and receiving stolen property valued less than $1,200.
Shea entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on Lubieddin’s behalf and told him that although he is entitled to a bar advocate to represent him, none of the public defenders was immediately available to assist him at a bail hearing.
As a result, Shea set his interim bail at $50,000, without prejudice, pending a bail hearing Monday when a bar advocate was expected be available to assist Lubieddin. He did not post the required bail and was held pending the hearing.
Lubieddin’s case may well move to Superior Court as the District Court does not have final jurisdiction for one of the charges, possession of a large capacity firearm.
A second warrant related to the same narcotics investigation was executed simultaneously on Wednesday, again with the assistance of the SRT, on East Bartlett Street.
There, the detectives found cocaine residue in several small plastic bags as well as four .22 caliber cartridges in the bedroom of Brian L. Becker Jr., 40, of 21 East Bartlett Street.
He was arrested for possession of a Class B drug and for possession of ammunition without a FID card. Becker was also arraigned before Shea on Friday and was released on his personal recognizance pending a hearing Monday.