A Taunton man was sentenced last week to serve eight to 10 years in state prison for an incident in Dartmouth in which he assaulted, injured and attempted to disarm Massachusetts State Police troopers.

According to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, Guillermo Santana, 38, pled guilty to indictments charging him with three counts of assault and battery on a police officer, and one count each of trafficking cocaine, possession of a Class A drug, carrying an illegal firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and resisting arrest.

The charges are in connection with an August 30, 2021 incident in which Santana was found by Trooper Cody Smith to be sitting in an idling Ford Escape with its headlights on while parked at the Dartmouth Motor Inn, with another person standing outside the passenger side.

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Smith observed the vehicle pull out of the parking lot with no turn signal and cut off oncoming traffic before returning to the motel. That led Smith to stop the vehicle, and he was able to identify the driver as Santana. Both Santana and his passenger attempted to exit the vehicle, and were advised to remain in the SUV.

“(Santana) became extremely nervous, looking away from the trooper, and looking towards a black fanny pack in the vehicle, which was within arm’s reach,” the D.A.’s Office said. “When asked if he had a valid ID, (Santana) stated ‘No’ and was then asked to step out from the vehicle.”

Santana then refused to step out of the vehicle. Trooper Smith was joined by Troopers Alex Boswell and Ryan Boswell, and the three attempted to remove Santana from the SUV. He then tried to reach back for the center console and the fanny pack, and a struggle ensued with the troopers and Santana.

“Based on (Santana’s) size (300 pounds), the troopers were getting physically worn down attempting to subdue the defendant and attempted to tase him,” the D.A.’s Office said. “(Santana) broke free with one hand cuffed, and the other cuff was open, potentially acting as a weapon. (He) also reached for his waistband at this time.”

The three troopers and Santana fell to the ground, and Santana attempted to reach for one of the trooper’s firearm. Trooper Smith then deployed a Taser, which did not stop Santana, who backed away and pulled the taser prongs out of his arms and torso. He then attempted to flee by running across the parking lot of the motel.

“At one point (Santana) faced Trooper Alex Boswell and reached for his waistband, at which time a fourth trooper deployed his taser and the (Santana) collapsed,” the D.A.’s Office said. “As (Santana) fell to the ground, troopers observed a black handgun fall from his waistband.”

The M&P Shield 9mm handgun was fully loaded. Inside the fanny pack, police found $7,000 in cash, 32 grams of cocaine, a digital scale, scissors and sandwich bags.

“This case clearly highlights the danger law enforcement officers face every day that jeopardizes their lives and safety. The defendant violently resisted the troopers' lawful exercise of their authority,” D.A. Quinn said. “It’s no coincidence that he was a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and trafficking in cocaine. During the struggle, he repeatedly tried to grab for his own gun and a trooper’s gun.”

“I commend and admire the actions of the state troopers for their restraint in a very volatile and dangerous situation,” Quinn said. “The defendant clearly is a danger to the community and needs to be kept off the street.”

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