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Press Release

Boston Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Drugs in and around Public Housing Development

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – An identified Boston gang member pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to distributing drugs in and around the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain.

Joe Simmons, a/k/a “Profit,” 30, pleaded guilty to distribution of controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a public housing facility. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Sept. 12, 2018.

Following a two-year investigation, Simmons and eight others were charged in January 2018 in connection with illegal drug distribution and firearm possession within and near the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain, formerly known as the Bromley Heath Housing Development. Simmons. Simmons, an alleged member of the Heath Street Gang sold cocaine base, also known as crack cocaine, to a cooperating witness inside the development on May 11, 2017. Simmons told the cooperating witness that he could supply him with “eight balls all day” and would “take care” of him. According to court documents, Simmons’s criminal record includes convictions for assault and battery, possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, and drug possession, among other charges.

The investigation and arrests sought to reduce violence and improve the quality of life in and around the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments for residents by removing individuals who trafficked drugs and who were actively involved in violence and gang disputes. Simmons is the fourth defendant to plead guilty in this case.

The charge of distribution of controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a public housing development provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of one year and no greater than 40 years in prison, a minimum of six years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of $2 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans made the announcement.  Assistance was also provided by the Boston Housing Authority’s Department of Police and Public Safety.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations.  The remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.       

Updated June 1, 2018

Drug Trafficking