Nine Charged with Committing Drug and Firearm Offenses in and Around Boston Housing Authority Property
BOSTON – Nine men – eight of whom are alleged gang members and associates – have been charged in connection with committing drug and firearms violations around the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain. Seven were arrested this morning and will appear in federal court in Boston this afternoon.
“Gangs are an organized, long-term threat to our neighborhoods,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “All of us have the right to live in safe communities – without fear of getting hurt, being subjected to drug dealing on our street corners, or our children being recruited into a life of crime. I will use the considerable resources of the Justice Department to afford every resident the right to live, work and play in a safe environment. I applaud the police officers and federal agents who spend their days identifying and building cases against the gangs in Boston’s neighborhoods.”
“ATF’s priority is keeping communities and its citizens safe by detecting and stopping the trafficking of firearms and narcotics. Today is another example of how ATF accomplishes that goal,” said Mickey Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Boston Field Division. “Firearms and narcotics trafficking continue to be a priority for ATF and our law enforcement partners. We are committed to identifying and disrupting the sources of trafficking illegal firearms and narcotics which endanger our communities.”
“These arrests come as a result of a two-year investigation working closely with our federal law enforcement partners,” said Boston Police Commission William Evans. “Public safety in Boston is my number one priority and I will continue to use all the resources available to target individuals driving violence in our city. I commend the work of my officers and all those involved in taking these dangerous individuals off the streets and the work they do every day to keep Boston safe.”
Following a two-year investigation, federal and local law enforcement arrested seven individuals this morning 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. The development, one of the largest owned by the Boston Housing Authority, has been severely impacted by the prevalence of drug trafficking, shootings and other crimes, much of which is instigated by gangs. According to the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, over a 10-month period in 2017, there were 36 incidents of shots fired, eight non-fatal shootings, one homicide, 20 drug-related arrests and 25 robberies in and around the development. According to court documents, the investigation and arrests aim to reduce violence and improve the quality of life for residents by removing individuals who traffic drugs and who are actively involved in violence and gang disputes.
The following individuals are alleged members of the Heath Street Gang and are charged with distribution of controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a public housing facility:
- Cerone Davis, a/k/a “Jp,” 25, of Boston;
- Joe Simmons, a/k/a “Profit,” 30, of Boston; and
- Jarrod Simmons, a/k/a “Rizz,” 21, of Boston.
The following individuals are alleged members of the Heath Street Gang and are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and distribution of cocaine base within 1000 feet of a public housing facility:
- Dominique Finch, a/k/a “Heff,” 27, of Boston;
- James Finch, 32, of Boston, remains a fugitive;
- Javonte Robinson, a/k/a “Biggie,” “Big Dog,” 21; and
- Kevin Smith, a/k/a “Works,” 27, of Boston.
Franklin Safo-Agyare, a/k/a “Frankie So So Smooth,” 25, of Worcester, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Kendrick Tate, a/k/a “K-Roc,” 25, of Chelsea, is an alleged member of the Health Street Gang and is charged with distribution of cocaine base and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Tate is currently serving a three-and-a-half-to-four-year sentence for unrelated state drug and firearm convictions.
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. The charge of distribution of cocaine base provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $1 million. The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Lelling, ATF SAC Leadingham and Boston Police Commissioner Evans made the announcement today. 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 defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.