A New Bedford cocaine dealer who tried to steal an officer's gun during a police raid at his home last August has been ordered to serve three to five years in state prison.

Donald Venerable, 31, pleaded guilty October 21 in Fall River Superior Court to trafficking cocaine in excess of 18 grams, assault and battery on a police officer, and assault and battery on a police officer with attempt to disarm, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today.

On August 12, New Bedford Police executed a search warrant for the second-floor apartment at 187 Division Street. Police located five bags of cocaine weighing nearly 43 grams in a kitchen drawer and found two digital scales, a cutting agent, $1,865 in cash and a stun gun.

While handcuffed, Venerable, who appeared intoxicated, pushed two detectives into a couch, causing them to lost their balance and fall, Quinn's office said in a release. The defendant, while still handcuffed, then struggled with another detective and grabbed at his firearm.

At the time of his arrest, the defendant had recently been released from jail and was on court-ordered GPS monitoring after serving time for an assault and battery by discharge of a firearm conviction.

"Only 15 days after being placed on probation for assault and firearms charges, the defendant is caught trafficking in  cocaine. The defendant had no intention of obeying the law and is a danger to the community. He belongs off the street to protect the public," District Attorney Quinn said.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Lopes and the prison sentence was imposed by Judge Raffi Yessayan.

The August 2019 police raid at 187 Division Street also resulted in the arrest of Cassandra Turner, then 32, on drug charges, according to previous reports. A child was removed from the home and placed in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Today's announcement from the Bristol County DA did not include information about the disposition of Turner's case.

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