A 24-year-old Dorchester woman allegedly had a gun and drugs hidden in the diaper bag slung over her shoulder as she carried her baby in a car seat past police officers who were arresting her boyfriend on a warrant, authorities said.
Jessica Butler is facing charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, said Sergeant Michael McCarthy, a Boston police spokesman.
Police went to a house on Fairmount Street in Dorchester at 4:55 p.m. Wednesday to execute an arrest warrant for Jean G. Toussaint, 23, of Dorchester, Butler’s boyfriend. Toussaint was being arrested on a firearms charge warrant in a shooting earlier Wednesday, said McCarthy.
While Toussaint was being handcuffed, Butler allegedly hurried past police, carrying the baby and the diaper bag over her shoulder. She put the bag and the baby in the back seat of a car in the driveway and tried to start the car, McCarthy said.
Police became suspicious, began investigating, and learned that Toussaint had allegedly put the items in the bag and told Butler to leave the area, McCarthy said.
Law enforcement officials say a little-known aspect of Boston’s struggle with gun violence is women buying or holding guns for men. A group called Operation LIPSTICK (Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killings) is urging women not to do that and warning them of the possible penalties they face.
“Here we have an incident where a young woman was asked to hold a gun and drugs for her boyfriend,” Police Commissioner William B. Evans said in a statement Thursday. “She now faces criminal charges for both the possession of the gun and drugs found in her bag. This type of behavior is exactly what the women of LIPSTICK are looking to stop.”
The baby was placed in the custody of the grandmother, who lived in the home, but officers filed a Chapter 51A request, which will trigger an investigation by the Department of Children and Families into whether the baby is being abused or neglected.