Two Men Arraigned on Firearms and Drug Charges
Kelvin Mendoza, 26, of Fitchburg and Emanuel Rodriguez-Shonyo, 25, of Salem were arraigned today in Salem District Court on a variety of firearms charges following a traffic stop early this morning in which Mr. Mendoza allegedly repeatedly referenced recent police shootings.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Erin Bellavia told the court that the two men were stopped driving the wrong-way down a one-way street after police had observed behavior consistent with narcotics dealing. The driver, Mr. Mendoza, was very hostile and antagonistic toward police and referenced other police shootings. At one point he reached into his car, despite orders not to, and appeared to be reaching under the front seat. Police found a loaded .40 handgun under the driver’s seat and a loaded large capacity rifle in a bag between the two front seats. Neither defendant had a license to carry those weapons. While transporting Mr. Rodriguez-Shonyo back to the police station, it was discovered that he had an app on his phone, which allowed him to listen in on the Salem Police radio scanner. The app was open and it is believed to have been open prior to the traffic stop.
The two men are both charged with Carrying a Loaded Large Capacity Firearm without a License, Carrying a Loaded Firearm without a License, Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card (2 counts), Possession of Class C Drugs, Improper Storage of a Large Capacity Firearm and Improper Storage of a Firearm. Mr. Mendoza is also charged with Improper Operation of a Motor Vehicle.
Mr. Mendoza is on active duty with the Army Reserves.
Judge Matthew Machera ordered both defendants held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for August 10, 2016.
The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.