Forfeiture of a Fitchburg, Massachusetts Property used to Facilitate the Commission of Certain Drug Crimes
Boston, MA... June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan today announced that United States District Judge Joseph L. Tauro has ordered the forfeiture of a Fitchburg, Massachusetts property used to facilitate the commission of certain drug crimes.
In a civil forfeiture action filed in November 2004, the United States alleged that 20 BERNADETTE STREET was used to facilitate the distribution of cocaine in the Fitchburg area in October and November, 2003. The investigation included a number of controlled purchases of cocaine from George Bureau and Bonnie Stetson at the Red Star Café on Bemis Road in Fitchburg. Before several of those controlled purchases, law enforcement officers observed Bureau, who owns 20 BERNADETTE STREET, or Stetson, who lived with Bureau at 20 BERNADETTE STREET, leave 20 BERNADETTE STREET and drive to the Red Star Café.
The investigation led to the execution of a search warrant at 20 BERNADETTE STREET, the seizure of drugs and drug distribution paraphernalia, and the arrests of Bureau and Stetson on state drug charges. Bureau filed a claim in the civil forfeiture action, but Judge Tauro granted the United States’ motion for summary judgment and ordered the forfeiture of the property.
Bureau and Stetson both pleaded guilty to state drug charges in Worcester Superior Court. Bureau was sentenced to 6 to 8 years in prison and Stetson was sentenced to 5 years of probation.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Fitchburg Police Department and the Worcester County District Attorney John Conte’s Office provided assistance to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in its investigation. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eugenia M. Carris and Kristina E. Barclay in Sullivan’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.