ATTLEBORO — The alleged armed robbery of a teenager last week in the Larson Woodland was gang-related and had to do with the sale of a handgun, a prosecutor disclosed Tuesday.
The suspect in the Jan. 15 incident, Michael Nevarez Jr., 20, 14 Holman St., Attleboro, was ordered held without bail following arraignment in Attleboro District Court.
He faces a dangerousness hearing Friday.
“My client denies the allegations,” said Amit Singh, an Attleboro lawyer representing Nevarez.
Singh said Nevarez has an alibi witness who will testify as to his client’s whereabouts at the time of the incident.
A 16-year-old boy told police he went to meet the suspect to buy a handgun but was instead robbed by three men who pointed guns at him.
Two hid their faces with hooded sweatshirts but the teen said he recognized Nevarez even though the suspect wore a ski mask instead of a hooded sweatshirt, according to a police report
The suspect allegedly took $97 cash and the boy’s backpack, which police say was later recovered in the suspect’s home along with prescription pills belonging to the boy.
The boy told police he could not identify the other two men.
Nevarez held his head down and shook it indicating “no” as Assistant District Attorney Natasha Azevedo read from the police report.
The identity of the suspect was confirmed by Detective Joseph Daday through photos posted on the defendant’s social media apps. Police say he allegedly boasted of his gang ties on social media.
The boy told police he was a member of the “Bloods” while the defendant was in the rival “Crips” gang, according to Azevedo.
Police arrested Nevarez Friday and executed a search warrant at his apartment, in which they also reported seizing an 8 mm semiautomatic pistol. It was designed to fire blanks but was allegedly modified to shoot bullets.
Police said they also seized an Air Soft pellet gun replica Glock 9 mm pistol, 47 9 mm rounds and a cellphone. In addition, a ski mask hat that matched the one the boy described was recovered, according to police.
Nevarez is currently on probation for assault and battery, being disorderly and disturbing the peace.
He pleaded innocent to seven charges including armed robbery while masked, four weapons-related charges, receiving stolen property and unlawful possession of Class E prescription pills.
He also faces a probation violation hearing.