DA Rachael Rollins announced on Monday that dozens of individuals are facing charges in connection with offenses at Mass + Cass and more arrests are on the horizon. Authorities are working to address the rise in serious crimes in that area.
See Press Release Below:
BOSTON, May 31, 2021— As part of ongoing, collaborative efforts to address public safety and public health concerns in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, 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, District Attorney Rachael Rollins said.
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
1. Trafficking in Fentanyl over 100 grams
2. Possession of a Class B substance (Cocaine) with intent to distribute
3. Possession of a Class B substance (Buprenorphine) with intent to distribute
4. Possession of a firearm without a license
5. Possession of ammunition
6. Possession of a large capacity feeding device
7. Possession of a firearm in commission of a felony
8. Armed career criminal, Level 2
Mr. Candelario is accused of selling drugs in clear view of a BPD officer on February 13, 2021. 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, 2021, prosecutors asked that Mr. Candelario be held under Massachusetts’ dangerousness statute. A judge denied that request at a subsequent hearing and Mr. Candelario was held without bail on a probation matter out of Middlesex County.
DALE CLARKE, 24, of Boston
1. Distribution of cocaine
2. Distribution of cocaine
3. Distribution of cocaine
4. Distribution of Cocaine
5. Distribution of fentanyl, subsequent offense
6. Possession of a Class B substance (cocaine) with intent to distribute
7. Possession of a Class A substance (fentanyl) with intent to distribute, subsequent offense
8. Trafficking in fentanyl over 200 grams
9. Trafficking in cocaine over 200 grams
10. Receiving stolen property
11. Possession of a firearm without an FID card
12. Possession of a firearm without an FID card
13. Possession of a firearm without an FID card
14. Possession of ammunition
15. Possession of a firearm in commission of a felony
16. Possession of a firearm in commission of a felony
17. Possession of a firearm in commission of a felony
18. Armed career criminal, Level 1
19. Armed career criminal, Level 1
20. Armed career criminal, Level 1
Boston Police officers acting in an undercover capacity purchased drugs from Mr. Clarke in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard and near Mr. Clarke’s Ellington Street home on multiple occasions during April 2021. During the course of the investigation, prosecutors learned that earlier in 2021, Mr. Clarke allegedly made the decision to sell drugs primarily in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard. During the execution of a search warrant at Mr. 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
1. Distribution of Class A substance, subsequent offense
2. Trafficking in Fentanyl over 10 grams
3. Trafficking in Cocaine over 18 grams
4. Possession of a Class B (methamphetamine) with intent to distribute
5. Trafficking in Fentanyl and Heroin over 100 grams
6. Trafficking in Methamphetamine 18-36 grams
7. Possession of a class B substance (cocaine) with intent to distribute
8. Habitual offender
Boston Police officers arrested Mr. Lewis in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Washington Street on March 18, 2021, 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, 2021, 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 Mr. 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 Mr. Candelario, Mr. Clarke and Mr. 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,” District Attorney 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 surrounding Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard. These efforts have included weekly meetings with our partners in the Boston Police Department 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 District Attorney Rollins.
The CSB was created by District Attorney Rollins in 2019 to improve her office’s response to serious felonies and acts of violence through data-driven, evidence-based approaches. The Bureau is composed of office’s Juvenile Unit, Gang Unit, Narcotics Unit, Human Trafficking and Exploitation Unit and the Crime Intelligence Unit. Under the CSB model, prosecutors assigned to these traditional prosecution teams collaborate in geographically-focused teams. This model increases the ability of prosecutors and investigators to seamlessly share actionable intelligence and improves the way the office investigates and prosecutes some of the most serious offenses impacting Suffolk County communities.
“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,” District Attorney 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.”
Anyone who witnesses a crime, including drug-related offenses, is urged to call 911. Under a policy implemented by District Attorney 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. A nationally accredited research study released earlier this year found that this approach to non-prosecution of non-violent misdemeanors is far more effective in reducing future criminal offenses than the traditional approach of prosecuting these offenses. District Attorney Rollins has committed to reinvesting her office’s limited resources into addressing serious and violent felony offenses many of which cause the greatest harm in our communities.
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.
The Boston Public Health Commission’s Boston Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT) provides access to support through its 24/7 hotline by calling 617-431-0125. The NTT offers immediate support services to those impacted by community violence, referrals for behavioral health services, community outreach and healing groups and a variety of other services.