BOSTON, May 6, 2014—A West Roxbury man was sentenced to state prison this week for a gun conviction made possible in part by his dirt bike’s failure to start, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
ALEXANDER HARRIS (D.O.B. 7/4/82) pleaded guilty yesterday to indictments charging him with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm, and being a Level I armed career criminal because of prior convictions for drug distribution and firearm possession. He was sentenced to three years in state prison followed by three years of probation.
Had the case proceeded to trial, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Mulligan would have introduced evidence and testimony proving that Harris was carrying a handgun without a license in Dorchester on the evening of May 28, 2013.
Testimony would have shown that Boston Police had received complaints about individuals operating dirt bikes recklessly in the area of Ridgewood Street earlier that day. At about 7:00 p.m., officers on routine patrol spotted a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle take a right off of Draper Street onto Ridgewood and followed it.
On Ridgewood, the officers observed a group of men clustered around the ATV and two dirt bikes. The ATV and one dirt bike sped off. The operator of the second dirt bike – later identified as Harris – couldn’t kick start his engine, however, and the officers pulled their cruiser in front of it.
Prosecutors would have shown that Harris dropped the bike and started running while clutching his waistband with his right hand, a characteristic they recognized from their training on armed gunmen. Harris jumped a fence into and through a nearby back yard, then led officers on a foot chase that ended with his apprehension on Longfellow Street.
Additional officers retraced the path of Harris’ flight and found two white socks and a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson Special loaded with five rounds of ammunition. The resident of the property where these items were found disavowed ownership of the gun or the socks.
Because the dirt bike Harris couldn’t start did not have a license plate or registration sticker, the officers towed it from the scene and cited him for operating an unregistered vehicle.
Harris was represented by attorney Anne Rousseve.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.