Convicted drug dealer charged with keeping loaded guns in apartment full of kids

Magnetic Tom, a.k.a. Tom Magnetic, was arraigned Thursday on charges he was storing loaded, unlocked guns in an apartment full of little kids, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Tom, 32, was arrested early Thursday morning on two counts each of unlawful possession of a firearm, improper storage of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. He was also charged as a level-II armed career criminal because of drug-distribution convictions in 2003 and 2005, the DA's office says.

Dorchester District Court Judge Michael Coyne set bail at $100,000, the same amount requested by prosecutors.

According to prosecutors, the Boston Police Youth Violence Strike Force and a SWAT team showed up at Tom's apartment at 842 Washington St. in Dorchester around 5 a.m. with a search warrant Nobody answered their knocks, so they burst in, to be greeted by a dog believed to be a pit bull, the DA's office says.

In a statement, the DA's office provided this account of what happened next:

"Officers located Tom, the target of the warrant, in a bedroom with a 28-year-old woman and a 1-year-old child. Also in the apartment were four other children ranging from 6 to 11 years of age. Officers offered the woman and her children the opportunity to be evaluated by Boston Emergency Medical Services. She declined and left with the children.

"Officers read Tom his Miranda rights and notified him that the warrant authorized them to search his apartment for a firearm.

" 'You're here to look for guns,' Tom allegedly said. 'I need to protect my family. I got two guns - a Hi Point .40 and a deuce deuce.'

"Tom then directed the officers to a plastic bag of clothes inside the room. That bag contained a Hi Point .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun. Tom also directed the officers to a night table near the bed, under which was a Ruger .22 caliber handgun. Tom further directed the officers to 'extra ammo' in the drawer of that night table; the officers found 28 rounds of ammunition and a feeding device or magazine with no corresponding firearm."

The DA's office says neither gun was locked. One had six rounds of ammunition loaded, the other eight.