Fall River man arrested with fentanyl, stun gun during traffic stop

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FALL RIVER — A routine traffic stop early May 1 led to the arrest of a Fall River man found with a significant amount of fentanyl and an illegal stun gun, Massachusetts State Police reported.

Trooper Stelvio Neto, alongside his field training officer, Trooper Quinn Indio, spotted a Nissan SUV on Pleasant Street around 1 a.m.

The driver, identified as Michael Couto, 55, was seen holding his phone in a manner that illuminated his face in the dark, prompting the troopers to initiate the stop as part of their traffic enforcement duties with the Dartmouth Barracks midnight shift.

Upon approaching the vehicle, Trooper Neto determined that Couto’s license was suspended.

After Couto was placed in handcuffs and escorted to the cruiser, a search revealed he was carrying a golf ball-sized baggie of fentanyl and a smaller baggie of crack cocaine.

A subsequent search of Couto’s Nissan uncovered numerous packages of fentanyl and a stun gun inside a backpack.

According to Massachusetts law, possession of a stun gun requires a license to carry, which Couto did not have.

Couto was booked at the Dartmouth Barracks, where he was photographed and fingerprinted.

He was found to be in possession of approximately 79 grams of fentanyl and 8 grams of crack cocaine.

He faced arraignment in Fall River District Court on multiple charges, including trafficking in fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute cocaine (subsequent offense), possession of cocaine (subsequent offense), possession of an electric stun gun, operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended license, and holding an electronic device while driving.

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