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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Forty Eight Columbia Point Dawgs Charged in Federal Sweep

BOSTON – Over 500 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers carried out arrests and executed more than 30 federal search warrants early this morning as a result of a two-year federal, state, and local wiretap investigation dubbed, “Operation Rising Tide.”  Six federal indictments charging 48 leaders, members, and associates of the Columbia Point Dawgs (CPD) with drug trafficking and firearm charges were unsealed today in connection with the sweep.

According to documents filed in court, the CPD, also known on the street as “the Point,” is Boston’s largest and most influential city-wide gang.  The criminal organization started in the 1980s in the former Columbia Point Housing Development (now Harbor Point) and, over the years, gang members established drug trafficking crews throughout Boston.  Over time, the group also trafficked drugs from Boston to Maine.  It is alleged that, during the course of the investigation, the CPD was responsible for the distribution of multiple kilogram quantities of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and oxycodone throughout Boston and Maine.

Court documents allege that the CPD established its dominance in the Boston gang drug distribution business through a pattern of violence and intimidation, and that members of CPD have been responsible for numerous shootings of rival gang members over the years.  In particular, in the past year and a half, the CPD has been engaged in a violent gang war with the Greenwood Street Posse, and other gangs aligned with Greenwood, which has resulted in numerous shootings.  Law enforcement officers seized 14 firearms during the course of the investigation.  On several occasions, guns were seized after investigators heard through court-authorized cellphone wiretaps that an individual was about to engage in a shooting.

Of the 48 persons charged in the indictments, 41 are in custody.  The investigation has resulted in the seizure of, among other things: 31 firearms; multiple boxes of ammunition; heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, oxycodone pills, and marijuana, as well as drug trafficking paraphernalia; 15 vehicles, including a Maserati, a Mercedes Benz, and an Audi; and $1.5 million in cash.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Boston Police Commissioner Evans; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal of the U.S. Marshals Service, District of Massachusetts; Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins; and Commissioner Carol Higgins O’Brien of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, made the announcement today.  The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Emily Cummings and Michael Crowley of Ortiz’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit.

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

Updated June 19, 2015