April 12 - 2018: Yarmouth Police Officer Murdered During Warrant Service

2007: Dr. Gryboski will be hard to convict. 1977: Trawler seized
Officer Sean Gannon was shot and killed in the line duty on this day in 2018. (Yarmouth Police photo)

1977: Russian fishing trawler seized off Nantucket escorted to Boston

275-foot Russian trawler Taras Shevchenko seized under orders by President Jimmy Carter

On this day in 1977, a so-called "mother ship of the Russian fishing fleet" off New England was taken to Boston to join another Soviet vessel under guard at the Boston Coast Guard Station for suspicion of violating the new US 200-mile fishing limit.

The 503-foot refrigerator-transport vessel Antanas Snechkus (shown below) was seized 100 miles southeast of Nantucket with 100 tons of fish believed to have been caught illegally under the new limit, which took effect March 1, 1977.

A day before the Antanas Snechkus was seized, the Coast Guard boarded the 275-foot Russian trawler Taras Shevchenko about 240 miles southeast of Boston and 75 miles inside the limit under direct orders from President Jimmy Carter.

Asked by reporters if he had ordered the trawler seized, Carter said yes, "we had to draw the line somewhere," as reported by United Press International.

Proponents of the new fishing limit, including Congressman Gerry Studds, D-Mass., had complained for weeks that Russian vessels were violating the restriction.

"It's great to see a job being conducted as it should be as Congress intended," Studds told UPI in Boston after the Taras Shevchenko was brought to Boston. Studds, "wearing a flounder-shaped tie clasp," joked that the Russian trawler would "make a great museum" in the fishing port of New Bedford in his district.

2007: Court upholds mobster's conviction

Loaned cops the gun for a Cape Cod robbery

On this day in 2007 Robert M. “Bobby” Joost, a well-known mob associate from Providence, will not be getting out of prison any time soon.  The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, in Boston, upheld convictions against Joost in District Court, Providence, for conspiring to obstruct commerce by robbery of an armored car and of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The verdicts were reached in the mid-’90s and he was sentenced to 26 years in prison.

In April 1995, Joost, of 40 What Cheer Ave., in the Silver Lake section of Providence, was convicted of conspiring to rob a Meehan armored car carrying millions of dollars in gold in northern Rhode Island. In a separate trial in federal court, he was convicted on the gun charge.  What made the case even more compelling was that two of Joost’s accomplices were undercover state police detectives: Steven G. O’Donnell, now a state police major, and Detective Joseph S. Del Prete. At the time, both detectives were assigned to the state police organized crime/intelligence unit. 

During the course of their relationship, investigators said, Joost recruited the undercover detectives to rob the Woonsocket-based armored car company. Joost, an ex-convict with financial problems, also was accused of lending the detectives a .25 caliber pistol to rob a nightclub on Cape Cod.  Read the appeal decision here.

2007: Dr. Gryboski defense lawyers must prove lethal force justified

History of domestic violence, medication, past police involvement needed

Also on this day in 2007 a prominent lawyer said that in order to find that a Cape Cod doctor killed her abusive husband in self-defense, as her legal team will likely argue, a jury must believe that the force she used was equal to that inflicted by her attacker, attorneys said. “Generally if somebody is attacking you with fists, you wouldn’t be allowed to pull out a gun and shoot them,” said Randy Chapman, president-elect of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

“However, if the person, based on the savageness of the attack, is fearful that they could be killed, then they’d be entitled to use lethal force.” ...Drew Segadelli, a defense attorney who practices on Cape Cod, said it is sometimes difficult to convince a jury that a defendant’s use of deadly force is justified.

Dr. Ann Gryboski (on the right) admitted to shooting her husband, Patrick Lancaster, to death on April 8, 2007. A Grand Jury, which met in July and August of 2007 returned a "no bill", ending the prosecution.

See the official release from the Cape and Island's District Attorney's Office here.
Read the other stories about Dr. Gryboski here.

2018:  Yarmouth Police Officer Slain

Yarmouth Police Officer Sean Gannon was shot and killed on this date in 2018 as he and his K9 partner, Nero, participated in a warrant service in Marstons Mills. The 32 year old officer was well-respected by his brother officers.  Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson remarked, "The sky was the limit for him."   Officer Gannon was posthumously promoted to Sergeant.  The murder of Sgt. Gannon resulted in an outpouring of support for the Gannon family and the Yarmouth Police Department.  For many Cape Codders Gannon's death was "the moment Cape Cod lost its innocence."   Gannon's alleged killer was a violent career criminal with a long string of priors, repeatedly released on bail by the court system.


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