Defendant Already Held for Fatal Taunton Crash Also Indicted for Narcotics Trafficking
Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Thomas M. Quinn III
February 8, 2023
The 34-year-old Norton and Medford man already being held without bail on charges of Second Degree Murder and Reckless Motor Vehicle Homicide connected to the November 7, 2022 fatal crash on Kingman Road in Taunton which claimed the life of a 54-year-old Middleboro woman has now also been indicted on a litany of other drug trafficking and illegal firearm charges, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn announced.
Hector Bannister-Sanchez was indicted by a Bristol County Grand Jury last week on new charges of Trafficking in Excess of 200 Grams of a Class B Drug, Trafficking in Excess of 100 Grams of a Class B Drug, Trafficking in Excess of 36 Grams of a Class A Drug, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm and two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm with a Prior Felony Conviction.
The narcotics and illegal firearms-related indictments come as a result of a search warrant executed at
a stash house in Norton where investigators found approximately 750 grams of suspected cocaine, approximately 70 grams of suspected fentanyl powder, approximately 240 grams of suspected fentanyl pills, approximately 182 grams of suspected methamphetamine pills, a Glock 19 firearm with a large capacity magazine containing 11 rounds, approximately $46,130.00 in cash, paperwork for the defendant, drug packaging materials and drug legers and notes.
He will likely be arraigned in Fall River Superior Court on these new indictments on February 22, which is the date he is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial hearing on the second degree murder and reckless motor vehicle homicide case.
During the defendant’s January 10th arraignment in Fall River Superior Court on the indictments charging him with Second Degree Murder and Reckless Motor Vehicle Homicide , Assistant District Attorney Kaitlyn O’Leary told the court that the defendant was the target of a four-month long drug investigation leading up to the events of November 7th. Investigators had sought and obtained a court-authorized GPS for the defendant’s Toyota Highlander On November 7, 2022, investigators intended to stop the defendant as part of the culmination of their investigation. After conducting surveillance of him traveling to his alleged stash house in Norton, they believed he was driving to complete a drug deal with a frequent customer in Middleboro. As investigators parked behind him and approached the defendant’s vehicle, they announced their presence as police and demanded that he show his hands. However, rather than stop, the defendant fled.
O’Leary told the court the defendant drove through a front yard, crashed into the property’s front landing, and forced a state trooper to get out of the way in order to avoid being hit. Despite not being chased by police, the defendant proceeded to drive at sustained and extremely high speeds as he fled through Middleboro, Lakeville, and ultimately into Taunton. The court-authorized GPS affixed to his vehicle showed him traveling at speeds as high as 101 MPH towards the beginning of his flight and 84.3 MPH as he approached the turn onto Kingman Street in Taunton, where the crash occurred.
O’Leary noted that witnesses observed the defendant driving at dangerous and excessive speeds, crossing in and out of oncoming traffic as he did so, and forcing other vehicles on the road out of the way in order to avoid getting hit. He traveled at these high speeds on routes that were at times densely populated with other vehicles traveling them, and that were lined with residences, businesses, and at least one school. His vehicle eventually crashed into a red Ford Fusion, being operated by Lori Medeiros. Data obtained pursuant to a search warrant from the Event Data Recorder of the defendant’s Toyota Highlander revealed that approximately five seconds prior to impact, the defendant was driving 101 miles per hour on a street where the unposted speed limit is 35 MPH.
Lori Medeiros was trapped inside the Ford Fusion and was ultimately taken to Morton Hospital in Taunton, where she was pronounced deceased. After the defendant collided into Lori Medeiros’ vehicle, the witness who had been driving behind her saw the operator and sole occupant of the Highlander, who she described as a black male, approximately in his 30s with dreads or braids, grab a black backpack from inside the Highlander and take off running away from the direction of the crash site. He fled on foot from the crash. but was apprehended a short time later on South Precinct Street.
O’Leary informed the court that the backpack the defendant grabbed from the Highlander contained $16,350 in cash and that the defendant’s wallet and cellphones were found in the Highlander.
All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. All information contained within this press release are allegations at this time.
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