Roxbury man faces drug and gun charges after car is pulled over for erratic operation

An alleged career criminal is facing drug and gun possession charges today after the car he was riding in was pulled over for erratic operation, officials said.

Silas Rankins, 20, of Roxbury, was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail after his arraignment Wednesday in Roxbury District Court. He is slated to return to court Feb. 8.

Rankins was in the front passenger seat of a car that was stopped Wednesday on Howland Street in Dorchester. During the traffic stop, Rankins appeared to conceal a handgun, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

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Police searched Rankins and discovered a bag containing what appeared to be crack cocaine, and a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun with a damaged serial number, its safety off, and five rounds of ammunition loaded in it, Wark said.

Rankins faces charges of carrying a loaded gun without a license, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of a Class B substance, resisting arrest, unlawfully carrying a firearm as a third offense, and not wearing his seat belt, Wark said in a statement.

Rankins holds prior convictions for armed assault with intent to murder with a dangerous weapon in 2001 and illegal firearm possession in 1999 and 2000.

Because of the raft of new charges he faces, Rankins was also charged as a Level II armed career criminal, Wark said, which would increase the overall severity of his possible punishment.

The driver of the car, Dwayne Rocker, 20, failed field sobriety tests and blew a .02 on a Breathalyzer, over the legal limit for a driver under 21, Wark said. He will appear in court at a later date.