FALL RIVER — A 22-year-old New Bedford man arrested last November on a litany of drug dealing and illegal firearm offenses was sentenced to serve three to four years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

James Souza pleaded guilty last Friday in Fall River Superior Court to a multi-count indictment charging him with unlawful possession of a firearm, three counts of possessing a large capacity feeding device, unlawful possession of a large capacity firearm, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, possession of a Class D Drug with intent to distribute, and two counts of unlawful possession of ammunition.

On November 7, 2017, New Bedford Police went to the defendant’s Oakdale Street home to execute a search warrant. When police arrived, they observed the defendant exiting and entering a taxi cab. Once the taxi begins to drive off with the defendant as a passenger, police stopped the vehicle and located a shoe box at the defendant’s feet, which contained an illegal firearm loaded with 16 rounds of ammunition.

The defendant was then taken back to his home for the execution of the court-approved search warrant, where the following is found:

1) 87 Rounds of Blazer 9mm ammunition

2) 43 rounds of PMC 45 caliber ammuntion

3)28 rounds of PMC 45 caliber ammunition

4) Identification cards of the defendant in the residence

5) 5.6 grams of cocaine

6) 42.5 tabs of Oxycodone

7) $ 2185 in cash

8) scale

9) scissors

10) sandwich bags

11) 6.5 pounds of marijuana

12) 3 Lg. Cap. Feeding Devices.

“The defendant was in possession of a firearm and a large amount of ammunition while selling drugs. This is a potentially lethal combination that contributes to some of the senseless violence on our city streets,” District Attorney Quinn said. “It is significant to note that this defendant was held without bail as a danger to the community since his arraignment. This highlights the importance of holding drug dealers without bail, especially those who are armed, in the appropriate cases.”

Bristol County District Attorney's Office