A traffic stop in Braintree turned into a confrontation with police and the arrest of a Mattapan man who allegedly had 21 plastic bags of crack cocaine in his mouth.
Police said a Braintree drug officer working a patrol shift last Friday afternoon saw a black BMW veering over the fog line on Union Street.
The detective looked up the car’s registration and found it was registered to a man whose name was involved in a recent drug investigation, police said.
The officer stopped the car. Although the driver was not the man the car was registered to, he was also the target of a drug investigation, police said.
According to police, the car smelled of burnt marijuana and the suspect handed a small amount of marijuana to the officer.
During questioning, police grew more suspicious of the man, put him in handcuffs, and asked him to open his mouth.
When the suspect was asked to lift his tongue, he was reluctant to do so, police said. But the officer said he could see that the suspect was concealing several white rocks in plastic bags.
“Once he realized they observed the narcotics, the struggle was on,” Braintree Police Chief Russell Jenkins said Wednesday.
Both men fell to the ground during the struggle, police said, and the suspect spat out 21 plastic bags of crack cocaine.
Jeremy Lawrence, 39, of Mattapan was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, resisting arrest, assault and battery, obstructing justice, operating a motor vehicle after license revocation, and failure to keep within marked lanes.
At his arraignment in Quincy District Court Monday, bail was set at $25,000. According to clerk’s records, Lawrence has not posted bail and is being held at the Norfolk County Correctional Center in Dedham.
He is due back in court July 17. His lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jessica.may.bartlett@ gmail.com.