An alleged “armed career criminal” tried to convince Boston police gang unit officers who found a loaded .45 in his glove compartment Monday night that he was about to drop the weapon off at a gun buyback, according to court documents. The officers arrested him anyway.
Christopher Fauntleroy, 23, was held on $10,000 cash bail in West Roxbury District Court Tuesday after pleading not guilty to a host of charges, including possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number and carrying a dangerous weapon, second offense.
Fauntleroy was arraigned as an armed career criminal based on previous assault and firearm convictions, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said. Fauntleroy could face a lengthy state prison sentence.
“I continue to be impressed with the work being done by my officers, and the officers in this particular incident,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said in a statement. “Thanks to them, the gun was recovered, and a career criminal found himself in police custody.”
Fauntleroy was arrested in Mattapan after gang unit officers in an unmarked car pulled him over in the area of Morton and Canterbury streets for speeding and other motor vehicle violations, and they saw him reaching toward the glove compartment.
“Officers are familiar with Mr. Fauntleroy as being a known gang member who has been involved in several incidents involving firearms,” according to court documents.
Fauntleroy told police he was on his way to see “his girls,” and when police asked him to step out of his car, began sweating, fidgeting, pacing, and stuttering, according to court documents.
“I didn’t think you’d check the glove box,” he blurted, according to the documents. He then allegedly told police, who had not said anything about finding a gun, that he was “bringing the gun to gun buyback.”
Fauntleroy also allegedly told police that he found the gun, a loaded black and silver .45-caliber with a large-capacity magazine and an obliterated serial number, on Monsignor Patrick J. Lydon Way.
He repeated his claim about the gun buyback and said several times that “he just had to find one.”
Police also found ammunition in Fauntleroy’s car, according to court documents.
Fauntleroy has served time for a 2008 conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm, a 2010 conviction for assault, and a 2011 conviction for escaping from a penal institution, according to authorities and court documents.
In June 2008, he was arrested after police responded to an early morning call for shots fired in Dorchester, caught Fauntleroy running from the scene, and found a handgun on a stack of tires near the scene, authorities said.
Two years later, Fauntleroy pleaded guilty to assault, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, and threatening to commit a crime for hitting his girlfriend in the head and waving a gun at her during a fight, accusing police who attempted to arrest him of being mad because “I [expletive] your girl,” and then threatening to kill officers, according to court records.
In 2011, he pleaded guilty to escaping from a penal institution after failing to return one afternoon to a pre-release program on Park Drive in Boston, where he was an inmate.
The defense lawyer who represented Fauntleroy at his arraignment Tuesday could not be reached for comment. Attorney Thomas A. Karp, who said he was appointed to represent Fauntleroy going forward, declined to comment, saying he has not begun work on the case.
The Boston Police Department launched a gun buyback program called “Piece for Peace” in March, and as of July 2 had taken in 348 guns through the program, said Officer James Kenneally, Boston police spokesman.
Police had taken an additional 352 guns off the street by July 2 through arrests, Kenneally said.
Anyone wishing to drop off a gun can do so Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. at police stations and other locations around the city.
“Community members participating in the gun buyback program are asked to adhere to specific protocols when turning in a firearm. Guns should be delivered unloaded, placed in a clear plastic bag, and transported in the trunk of a car or motor vehicle,” Kenneally said. “In this case, it appears the protocols were not followed.”