Massachusetts is known to have some pretty wild drivers. Hey, we didn't earn the nickname 'Massholes' for no reason.

In reality, Massachusetts drivers aren't that bad. In fact, a study published by the law firm of Friend, Levinson, and Turner, LTD, found that Massachusetts is actually home to the second-best drivers in the country.

Despite that high ranking, Massachusetts drivers are certainly not perfect, and texting and driving is one of the most common offenses committed on the roadways. Since 2020, Massachusetts has had the "hands-free law" in place, which prohibits operators of motor vehicles from using any electronic device, including mobile telephones, unless the device is utilized in hands-free mode. Texting and driving is also illegal in 47 other states.

So knowing that texting and driving is dangerous AND illegal, you've got to wonder what was going through the mind of one Massachusetts man who is facing serious drug and weapons charges, all stemming from texting and driving.

World's Dumbest Criminal? Massachusetts Man Texting and Driving with Fentanyl, Cocaine, and Weapons in Car.

According to a release from Massachusetts State Police, in the early morning of May 1, 2024, Trooper Stelvio Neto, was on patrol with his field training officer Trooper Quinn Indio. The two Troopers were conducting traffic enforcement in Fall River as part of the Dartmouth Barracks midnight shift.

While observing traffic on Pleasant Street, Trooper Neto observed a Nissan SUV being driven by a man holding his phone in front of him illuminating his face in the darkness of the morning hours.

 Deducing the man was in violation of the hand-free driving law, Trooper Neto conducted a traffic stop of the Nissan and approached the operator, Michael Couto, 55, of Fall River. It was immediately determined that his license was suspended and Couto was removed from the vehicle, placed into handcuffs, and searched. Couto was found to be in possession of a golf ball sized baggie of fentanyl, and a smaller baggie of crack cocaine.
Once Couto was secured in the rear of the police cruiser, State Police searched the vehicle he was driving. The search yielded numerous individually bundled packages of fentanyl and a stun gun. Couto does not possess a license to carry, as required by Massachusetts law.

Couto is now faces charges of Trafficking in Fentanyl, Possession With Intent To Distribute Cocaine (Subsequent Offense), Possession Of Cocaine (Subsequent Offense), Possession Of an Electric Stun Gun, Operation Of A Motor Vehicle With Suspended License, and Holding An Electronic Device While Driving. If the charges stick, Couto could face over two decades in prison.
With all due respect to the seriousness of the charges, how dumb can you be? You're driving on a suspended license with drugs and weapons in the car and you decide to text and drive?! AT NIGHT nonetheless. Talk about painting a target on your back.

Counties with the highest unemployment in Massachusetts

Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest unemployment in Massachusetts using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in December 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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