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Posted on: September 11, 2018

Whitman Police Arrest Four on Gun Charges

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Chief Scott D. Benton reports that the Whitman Police Department arrested three men and a woman on Monday night and charged them with illegally
possessing a gun during a traffic stop.

STEEVENS CHARLES, AGE 25, OF BROCKTON, BERNADIN FRANCOIS, AGE 23,
OF DORCHESTER, SEBASTIEN GASSANT, AGE 23, OF MATTAPAN and NAILAH
SANON, AGE 19, OF DORCHESTER were each arrested and charged with:

Carrying a Loaded Firearm Without a License
Possession of Ammunition Without a FID Card
Carrying a Firearm Without a License
Felony Possession of a Firearm With a Defaced Serial Number
Attempt to Commit a Crime

The four were arraigned today in Brockton District Court and were ordered to be held
without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Friday.

At approximately 10:15 p.m. on Monday, Whitman Police received a 911 call reporting
that a group of four people were seen in the area of Central Street carrying guns,
wearing masks and wearing dark clothing.

Officers responded to Central Street where they located a vehicle parked on the side of
the road with four people inside, later identified as CHARLES, FRANCOIS, GASSANT
and SANON.

In speaking with FRANCOIS, who was in the driver's seat, he told police that he was an
Uber driver. FRANCOIS could not tell the officers where he was going or what he was
doing parked on Central Street.

While speaking with the individuals in the car FRANCOIS shifted in his seat, allegedly
revealing the barrel of a rifle tucked between the seat and the center console.

FRANCOIS, CHARLES, GASSANT and SANON were immediately ordered to show
their hands and the officers called for backup. Officers from Hanson, East Bridgewater
and the Plymouth County Bureau of Criminal Investigation, who were all in the area of
Central Street, responded and helped to place the four suspects in custody without
further incident.

In searching the vehicle, officers allegedly found and seized a Highpoint 9mm short
barrel rifle loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition. They also confiscated a black BB gun
pistol, a rubber mask and a black ski mask as evidence. The rifle was found to have
had its serial number scraped off.

Through the subsequent investigation, a witness told police that he saw the four
suspects walk to the back stairway of a home carrying the guns and wearing masks
prior to police arriving.

“I want to thank our law enforcement partners from the other communities who
responded to provide assistance in backing up our officers," Chief Benton said. "This
was excellent police work that resulted in the apprehension of individuals that posed a
great threat to public safety and the citizens of Whitman."

These are allegations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

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