Marijuana charge reveals connections to city gang violence, drug deals

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Temporarily closed: A sign outside Buba Noodle Aug. 8, 2020, 36 Lowell St. Photo/Pat Grossmith

MANCHESTER, NH – A city man who police say is a known gang member and connected to two recent Manchester shootings was arraigned Tuesday on a felony charge of being in possession of more than an ounce of marijuana.

Armin Elezovic, 22, of 25 Miami Court, was ordered held in preventive detention by Judge David Anderson after a hearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District.  He also revoked his bail on three other pending felony cases which include charges of second-degree assault and falsifying physical evidence.

According to prosecutor Shaylen Roberts and court documents, Elezovic came to investigators’ attention on June 23 when Zeid Sukkar, 23, arrived at the Elliot Hospital seeking treatment for a shotgun wound to the arm.  Sukkar told police that earlier that day he had called “Armin,” (Elezovic) who he also referred to as OTB – Only the Bosnians – and arranged to buy a gram of marijuana.

 Zukkar told investigators he has been buying “weed” from Elezovic since August 2019.  The two met up that day and smoked “weed” together and later in the afternoon, Zukkar again contacted Elezovic to buy $15 worth of marijuana.

The meeting’s location was at 1458 Elm St. but when Zukkar arrived he was attacked by three of Elezovic’s associates and shot in the right forearm, according to a sworn affidavit of Officer Connor Mefferd.

About 1 ½-months later, on Aug. 8 about 1:30 a.m., multiple shots were fired in the parking lot of the Red Arrow Diner, 61 Lowell St. No one was injured in the incident but the nearby Buba Noodles Bar, 36 Lowell St., was struck by 10 bullets while a parked vehicle was hit as well.

Video footage of the incident recorded Elezovic at the scene of the shooting, which happened during hours in which Elezovic was required to be home because of a curfew imposed as a bail condition in another pending case, according to police.  As a result of that alleged violation, police opened an investigation of Elezovic.

That resulted in investigators following Elezovic as he allegedly engaged in hand-to-hand drug sales in the city with some taking place outside the Filotimo Casino and Restaurant, formerly Jokers, at 1279 South Willow St., and in the lot at BJ’s, 200 John Devine Drive.  He was arrested on Sept. 13 during a motor vehicle stop on Queen City Avenue.

Police obtained a search warrant for his Jeep and a Nike fanny pack.  In the Jeep, police recovered a barrel to a Glock 17 in the glove box.  They also found an individual plastic, space bag containing a cartoon/drawn picture of James Harden with the words “OTB Exotica” inscribed on the picture.  Elezovic also goes by the username OTBJames Harden and has created a retail enterprise by packaging marijuana, branding them with a unique and customized label specific to his social media persona and selling them to the public for profit, investigators said.

A search of a Nike fanny pack resulted in police finding four individual vacuum-sealed and package “OTB Exotics” containing marijuana.  Each bag contained about 13.2 to 13.4 grams of marijuana for a total of 59.4 grams..

Roberts asked the judge to hold Elezovic in preventive detention.  She cited the pending felony cases, his known gang affiliation, two other open felony cases in Massachusetts, which include charges of possessing a firearm and large-capacity magazine, and his blatantly ignoring the curfew.

Anderson ordered him held on preventive detention, revoked bail on pending charges and set a further hearing for Oct. 6.

About this Author

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Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.