DA Rollins Announces Major Drug Enforcement Activity at Mass/Cass

DA Rachael Rollins announced 36 indictments of three individuals who have allegedly engaged in open drug dealing in the Mass/Cass area, as well as dozens more arrests of individuals that face arrest for impacting the area.

As part of ongoing, collaborative efforts to address public safety and public health concerns in the area of Mass/Cass, a Suffolk County grand jury last week returned a total of 36 indictments against three individuals, and dozens of other individuals face arrest for offenses impacting the area, Rollins said on Monday.

The arrests and indictments came about through an on-going long-term, strategic and collaborative approach to addressing violent crime in Suffolk County. Each arrest is the result of actionable intelligence gathered and evaluated by teams of police, prosecutors, analysts and other partners.  As a result of these efforts, Suffolk prosecutors assigned to District Attorney Rollins’ Crime Strategies Bureau led proceedings before the grand jury resulting in indictments against:

•JAY CANDELARIO, 40, of Lowell, for eight offenses, including being an Armed Career Criminal Level 2. Candelario is accused of selling drugs in clear view of a Boston Police (BPD) officer on February 13. At the time of his arrest on the same day, he was in possession of a loaded firearm with a feeding device capable of holding 15 rounds of ammunition. At his arraignment in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court on February 16, prosecutors asked that Candelario be held under Massachusetts’ dangerousness statute. A judge denied that request at a subsequent hearing and Candelario was held without bail on a probation matter out of Middlesex County.

•DALE CLARKE, 24, of Boston, was indicted on 20 charges, including three charges of being an Armed Career Criminal Level 1. Boston Police officers acting in an undercover capacity purchased drugs from Clarke in the area of Mass/Cass and near Clarke’s Ellington Street home in Dorchester on multiple occasions during April 2021. During the course of the investigation, prosecutors learned that earlier in 2021, Clarke allegedly made the decision to sell drugs primarily in the area of Mass/Cass. During the execution of a search warrant at Clarke’s home, police located three firearms, a stolen ballistics vest and all of the equipment needed to package drugs for street level distribution. 

•ROBERT LEWIS, 56, of Boston, was indicted on eight charges, including Trafficking in Fentanyl and Methamphetamine. Boston Police officers arrested Lewis in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Washington Street on March 18, after witnessing an alleged drug transaction. Following his arraignment in the Central Division of Boston Municipal Court, he was released on $2,500 bail.  He was arrested again in the area of Atkinson Street on April 3, after officers observed him take part in multiple alleged drug transactions. At his arraignment in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court, a judge set Lewis’ bail at $10,000 and allowed a motion by prosecutors to revoke bail in his pending case. This week’s indictments move the cases against Candelario, Clarke and Lewis from the municipal courts to the appropriate court of jurisdiction, Suffolk Superior Court, where they each face the potential of lengthy state prison sentences if convicted. Superior Court arraignment dates have not yet been scheduled.

“These individuals are each accused of preying on and profiting from the vulnerability, desperation and afflictions of others.  Further, their actions have significantly impacted the community where they sold their deadly products,” Rollins said. “We will not tolerate the repeated infliction of harm on our neighborhoods and vulnerable members of our community.”

Additionally, arrest warrants have been issued for upwards of 40 in Boston’s municipal courts for offenses allegedly committed in the Newmarket Square area. Arrests are expected to continue on a rolling basis in the coming days and weeks.

The arrests and indictments come amid a lengthy and ongoing effort to address the rise in violent and serious crimes in the area of Mass/Cass. These efforts have included weekly meetings with partners in the BPD Drug Control Unit and the concentrated efforts of Assistant District Attorneys assigned to the CSB before the grand jury. Disrupting acts of violence, human trafficking, drug trafficking and other serious felonies across Suffolk County communities is a priority for DA Rollins.

“Through this focused collaboration between the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Boston Police Department, we have identified a number of individuals who we believed are responsible for driving the violence, profiting off of people’s pain, and causing significant harm to our community. They will be held accountable for the harm they have caused,” Rollins said.  “The issues facing the Newmarket Square community will not be resolved overnight.  But the efforts that my office has undertaken in partnership with Boston Police and our community partners are beginning to pay dividends, both long- and short-term.”

Efforts in the area are two-fold – to hold individuals accountable for criminal offenses while also ensuring that those who are struggling with substance use disorder, mental illness and emotional harm, poverty or homelessness have access to community-based services and treatment. Last year, District Attorney Rollins’ office provided grant funding to the North Suffolk Mental Health to hire a drug diversion coordinator to work in Suffolk County courthouses connecting individuals with substance use treatment and resources.  District Attorney Rollins’ office also partnered with the Boston Municipal Court, Department of Probation and Boston Medical Center to launch the grant-funded Boston Outpatient Assisted Treatment (BOAT) program. The program offers eligible individuals facing criminal charges Boston’s municipal courts with intense social, mental health and substance use disorder services to help clients maintain stability, achieve recovery within the community and avoid hospitalization and incarceration.

“Substance use disorder is a public health crisis that cannot be cured through prosecution.  Law enforcement is not equipped to address the service needs of those suffering from substance use disorder, mental illness, emotional harm and trauma, and other crises,” District Attorney Rollins said. “We need all of our partners in every level of government and public health institutions and leaders across the state to join us in addressing both this public health crisis and the significant harm created by those who prey on the desperation and vulnerability of others.”

Under a policy implemented by Rollins, Suffolk prosecutors begin their evaluation of certain low-level, nonviolent misdemeanors – including drug possession – with the presumption that the charges will be dismissed and the individual will be diverted into services or treatment prior to arraignment unless the individual circumstance merit a different approach.

Individuals seeking substance use treatment for themselves or a loved one can the Massachusetts Substance Use Hotline at 800-327-5050.  Resources can also be located through the City of Boston’s Office of Recovery Services or by calling the city’s Constituent Services hotline at 311 or 617-635-4500.

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