SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A Springfield man, who authorities report is already facing over a dozen firearms charges, has been arrested again.

Jim Leydon, spokesperson for the Hampden County District Attorney's office, said that members of their Violent Offender Task Force and Springfield Police were conducting an investigation Tuesday afternoon when they saw a car being driven erratically and committing traffic violations.

Investigators pulled over the car and reportedly found a gun under the passenger seat, which was occupied by 22-year-old Nathan Mercado of Springfield.

Nathan Mercado arrest evidence 040721

Photo provided by Hampden County District Attorney's office

"As officers attempted to place Mr. Mercado into custody he began striking the officer and trooper in an attempt to flee before he was able to be placed under arrest," Leydon explained.

A second gun was found by the trooper.  According to the D.A.'s office, the first gun was loaded with 16 rounds of armor-piercing ammunition, while the second gun was loaded with 13 rounds and was reported stolen out of Vermont.

Mercado was arrested and charged with two counts of carrying a firearm without a license, two counts of carrying a loaded large capacity firearm on a public way, two counts of possession of a firearm without an FID card (subsequent offense), two counts of assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrests, and receiving stolen property less than $1,200.

"This arrest removes a dangerous individual from our streets and prevents further acts of violence and lawlessness. We will continue to employ smart and aggressive strategies in protecting our neighborhoods," said Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni in a statement.

Nathan Mercado DA arrest 040721

Photo provided by the Hampden County D.A.'s office

Leydon explained that Mercado was arrested by Springfield Police in March 2019 in firearms charges, for which he was prosecuted and convicted.  Mercado was then arrested again in September 2020 with three loaded firearms and is facing 16 firearms charges in that case.  He was released pending trial on that case with a condition of wearing a GPS ankle bracelet.

"This is just another example of why GPS bracelets don’t deter violent repeat offenders from carrying guns or committing crimes. For the good of the citizens of Springfield and the safety of our officers we hope that he is held pending trial in these two open cases. Those armor piercing bullets can go right through a protective vest and the large capacity firearms can fire an abundance of bullets in mere seconds," said Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood in a statement. 

The driver of the vehicle in Tuesday's traffic stop cooperated with investigators and was later released.

Mercado was scheduled to be arraigned on the charges from this week's arrest on Wednesday in Springfield District Court.

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