Dozens Arrested in and Around City of Lawrence as Part of Project Safe Neighborhood Sweep
Defendants arrested on drug, gun and immigration charges
BOSTON – Dozens of individuals were arrested today on federal drug, firearms, and immigration offenses, as well as state warrants. In addition, 11 criminal aliens were arrested and will be processed administratively. Today’s sweep, netting more than 35 criminals in and around the City of Lawrence, is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood Initiative (PSN), which aims to bring together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime.
As part of today’s sweep, approximately 35 defendants were charged with federal and state offenses, and nine are still at large. Eleven criminal aliens were arrested by ICE and will be processed administratively for removal from the United States, and 13 are currently at large.
The arrests are the culmination of a number of federal investigations dubbed Operation Law and Order, which targeted impact players and repeat offenders in and around the City of Lawrence, all of whom have prior convictions for acts of violence, firearm offenses and/or drug trafficking, and those with criminal records who are in the United States illegally.
Today’s operation involved over 200 federal law enforcement agents from all over New England, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations; Homeland Security Investigations; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Marshals Service; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
During the investigations, law enforcement officers bought or seized approximately 10 kilos of fentanyl.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Todd M. Lyons, Acting Field Office Director, Boston, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; United States Marshal John Gibbons of the District of Massachusetts; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; and Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett made the announcement today.
The federal cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys in Lelling’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit, Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, and the Major Crimes Unit. The state cases are being prosecuted by the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. Administrative arrests made by ICE will be handled in Immigration Court.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Oct. 3, 2018, marked one year since Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The following defendants were charged in federal court:
The following defendants were arrested on state charges:
In addition, approximately 11 criminal aliens, all of whom have prior convictions for offenses ranging from drug distribution to assault and battery, were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and will be processed administratively.