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Former Halfway House Employee Sentenced to One Month Incarceration for Selling Heroin to Residents

BOSTON, Mass. - A Roxbury woman was sentenced today in federal court for distributing heroin at a halfway house in Boston.

DEBORAH BELIM, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to one month incarceration to be followed by 24 months of supervised release, the first seven months of which are to be served in home detention on electronic monitoring.

Had the case gone to trial the government’s evidence would have proven that BELIM, a former employee of the Coolidge House, engaged in a 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.

The evidence at trial would have proven that, 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. A resident who lived 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.

BELIM was ordered to self-surrender on April 29, 2011.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Cynthia A. Schnedar, Acting Inspector General for the Department of Justice made the announcement today. The case was investigated by the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Investigation Division. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Freniere of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.



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