Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro. (WHAV News file photograph.)
Four men and a woman, believed to have been involved in a spate of recent shootings in the city, were arrested early Tuesday morning after State Police stopped an SUV in Railroad Square and found two loaded guns under the back seats.
Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro told city councilors Tuesday night the car had been spotted near recent shootings and police were alerted to look for it. He said the guns seized may have been used during recent shootings.
“We arrested five subjects inside the vehicle. We also recovered two guns that we are currently running ballistic tests now on we believe may have been the guns involved in four of the last five shootings,” DeNaro said.
The chief held out hope the arrests of two Haverhill men and a Lawrence man and woman may halt the recent violence. “It was a huge arrest that we think is going to be significant as far as bringing this nonsense to an end and quickly.”
DeNaro released information about each of the recent gunshot victims and hinted their secrets relate to gang activity.
“The victims in the recent shootings of the four—we have two Haverhill, one Groveland and one Lawrence resident were the victims of those shootings. All of the victims—and I emphasize all of the victims—are uncooperative.”
He said he expects more arrests related to the shootings—all of which were previously reported by WHAV.
The arrests took place just after midnight when State Police Trooper Patrick McCrave, spotted a black 2013 Infiniti JX35 to be in violation of motor vehicle laws.
The driver, 19-year-old Nestor Gonzalez of Haverhill, failed to provide a registration and told McCrave he left it at home. While performing a warrant check, McCrave also noticed three men in the backseat, including a 17-year-old Haverhill juvenile, were not wearing seatbelts.
When McCrave and Trooper Christopher Ryan, who responded for backup, removed everyone from the car, they noticed a loaded Taurus .44 caliber revolver and a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun under the rear seats.
Besides Gonzalez and the juvenile, others arrested were 20-year-old Juan Marte from Haverhill, 20-year-old Lizmarie Lozada and 22-year-old Carlos Rodriguez, both of Lawrence. The adults appeared in court Tuesday, charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license, and unlicensed possession of ammunition.