AMESBURY – A reported attempted carjacking in the Friendly’s restaurant parking lot off Clarks Road on Monday night led to the arrest of a local man on drug and illegal ammunition charges hours later.
Tres Johnson, 20, 24 Senee Court, first floor, Amesbury, was charged with marijuana possession over 10 ounces, marijuana possession to distribute, a previous warrant and unlawful possession of ammunition after he was arrested at his home. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation for two years, police said.
At his arraignment Tuesday in Newburyport District Court, Johnson was ordered held without bail for violating probation conditions. On the new charges, he was ordered held on $1,000 cash bail and ordered to stay away from three people related to his arrest. He is due back in court July 15 for a pretrial hearing.
A man called police about 6 p.m. to say he and his companion, Johnson, had been held up at gunpoint and were ordered to hand over his car, according to a police report.
When police responded to the restaurant, the caller told officers that two Hispanic men had tried to steal his car as he was sitting in it in the adjacent Fairfield Inn parking lot.
“(The caller) said he took off running from the vehicle and heard what he thought to be a gunshot go off behind him. He said he ran into Friendly’s and called the police,” Amesbury police Officer Teagan Davis wrote in her report.
But as Davis and other officers questioned him, the man became evasive, denied knowing anyone involved or any possible motive. He later admitted he drove to Amesbury to smoke marijuana with Johnson.
The man told police he picked up Johnson and the two drove to the hotel parking lot to smoke. That’s when the Hispanic men attempted to rob him and Johnson. He also told police that he hadn’t seen a pistol, contradicting what he said to the 911 dispatcher.
Police spoke to the restaurant’s manager, who told officers that Johnson had left the scene prior to their arrival.
“During this investigation we learned that Tres Johnson had an active felony warrant for violation of probation. The underlining charges were assault with intent to rob, assault and battery and larceny from a person,” Davis wrote in her report.
Those charges were drug related as well, according to court documents.
Police told the caller that he was free to go but when he drove out of the parking lot, officers tailed him until he pulled over at Johnson’s home, according to Davis’ report.
About 8 p.m. officers with a warrant arrived at Johnson’s home and found him standing on Senee Court near his front door. He was arrested without incident.
Police found three .380-caliber bullets, two of them in a magazine, according to Officer Liam Leary’s report. They also found two bags of marijuana totaling almost 11 ounces, above the legal limit for marijuana possession.
Johnson later told police that he had been in the Fairfield Inn parking lot earlier to sell marijuana.
In her argument for high cash bail, Essex County prosecutor Shailagh Kennedy told Judge Mary McCabe that she believes someone might have tried to steal Johnson’s marijuana.
Kennedy said the charges that resulted in Johnson being placed on probation were related to an incident where he was trying to steal marijuana and cash from someone else.
“This is someone time and again who is involved with law enforcement,” Kennedy said.