FORMER HALFWAY HOUSE EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH SELLING HEROIN TO RESIDENTS
BOSTON, Mass. - A former employee of Coolidge House was charged in federal court today with possessing and distributing heroin.
DEBORAH BELIM, 43, of Roxbury, was charged in an Information with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. The Information alleges that Belim, a former employee of the Coolidge House, engaged in the conspiracy with her boyfriend, a resident of the Coolidge House, to sell heroin to other residents.
Coolidge House, operated by the Community Resource for Justice (CRJ), is a Residential Reentry Center (also known as a halfway house) located on Huntington Avenue in Boston. The halfway house is under contract with the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. The residents of Coolidge House are recently released federal inmates who are transitioning back into mainstream society. Most residents are in the program for an average of three months, during which time they receive case management services that emphasize successful reentry. Coolidge House represents CRJ’s largest program and is one of its longest running contracts.
According to the charges, as a Program Monitor, Belim monitored Coolidge House residents’ compliance with the program rules to include performing bag checks, pat downs, bed checks and breathalyzer checks. Additionally, Belim was responsible for ensuring residents were at their scheduled jobs by maintaining regular contact with their employers. The Information alleges that a resident, while living at the Coolidge House from March 2007 to November 2007, met and entered into a romantic relationship with Belim. The resident sold heroin to other residents of the halfway house while he was living there. After his release in November, he took up residency with Belim. The Information further alleges that at various times between November 2007 and May 2008, at the request of the resident and on his behalf, Belim, brought heroin into the Coolidge House and sold that heroin to residents of the Coolidge House.
If convicted, Belim faces up to 20 years imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and James E. Tomilson, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Freniere of Ortiz's Public Corruption Unit.
The details contained in the Information are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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