ATTLEBORO — Police say the South Attleboro man arrested on drug and firearms charges Wednesday is a member of the Bloods gang who allegedly sold a gun to a man accused of robbing Attleboro teens.
William E. Hancock, 30, of 36 Trepanier St., pleaded innocent Thursday in Attleboro District Court to receiving a stolen handgun and unlawful possession of a firearm.
He was ordered held in jail without bail pending a dangerousness hearing Monday.
Hancock was arrested Wednesday morning at his home without incident when police and a regional SWAT team executed a search warrant. A search warrant was also executed with the help of Rhode Island State Police at a Johnston Street home where police say Hancock also lived and used to stash narcotics.
In the Rhode Island search, police say, they recovered a loaded .357 caliber semi-automatic handgun, several bags of alleged marijuana and suspected cocaine, according to court records.
In addition, police seized $8,040 cash, alleged drug paraphernalia and his pickup truck, according to court records.
Rhode Island State Police obtained a warrant charging Hancock with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, possession of more than one ounce of marijuana and possession of a firearm after having been a convicted of a crime of violence, according to a spokesperson for Rhode Island State Police.
Hancock was convicted a decade ago in Bristol County Superior Court and served a 6- to 8-year prison term for breaking and entering while placing a person in fear and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, according to police.
Investigators allege Hancock sold a .25 caliber handgun to Jeffrey Sek, 19, of 13 Lamb St., in Attleboro. Sek is being held in jail without bail as a dangerous person for allegedly robbing two Attleboro teens at gunpoint, according to police.
Police say they have a cellphone photo of the gun which was used to trace the serial number and learned it was reported stolen in Falmouth in December 2014, according to court records. No weapon was recovered when police arrested Sek in June.
Police say they have text messages documenting the sale after obtaining a search warrant for Sek’s cellphone and used cellphone tracking data to trace Hancock’s movements.
When he was arrested early Wednesday morning, police say Hancock — who is known by the street name Esco — was allegedly holding the cellphone he used to communicate with Sek. The cellphone was seized by police, according to a police report.
Hancock’s lawyer, Francis T. O’Brien Jr. of Hingham, declined to comment, saying he had just received the lengthy police report. He also declined to comment police allegations that his client is a member of the Bloods gang.
“I was handed a lot of material in which contains a lot of accusatory statements,” O’Brien said. He added that the prosecution will have to present evidence at the hearing Monday.
In the police report, Detective Lt. Timothy Cook Jr., said Hancock at first denied knowing Sek before changing his story and also denied having guns.
“I don’t play with guns,” Cook quoted Hancock as saying after his arrest.
Hancock also allegedly told Cook he doubted police had a confidential informant and said that police must have used “a crooked ass judge to sign” the search warrant.
The search warrant was obtained Aug. 7, prompting O’Brien to question why police waited so long to serve the document. He also said his client was arrested Wednesday and should have been arraigned Wednesday instead of Thursday.
Police raided Hancock’s home around 4:45 a.m. Wednesday with the help of the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council SWAT team and members of the Bristol County Drug Task Force. His mother, girlfriend and two young children were home at the time. Hancock surrendered at the door at the request of police, according to the police report.
“It’s good y’all did it the way you did it,” Cook quoted Hancock as saying, “because people would’ve died.”