OPERATION CLEAN SWEEP TARGETS 22 DEALERS
Teams of officers saturated the Bellingham Square area Thursday morning, Oct. 25, and arrested several individuals on warrants for illegal distribution of cocaine and heroin as part of an undercover operation targeting street level dealing in Chelsea neighborhoods – including the downtown business district.
Chief Brian Kyes stated, “This operation is an important piece in our all-encompassing effort to continue our progress in rejuvenating the downtown business area. Our officers will continue to prioritize enforcement, community policing and to work with our partners to guide individuals suffering from addiction into treatment.”
The Chelsea Police Department with assistance from the Revere, Winthrop, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, and State Police secured 22 arrest warrants on individuals as part of a three-month undercover operation named “Operation Clean Sweep.”
The operation targeted drug dealing in the Bellingham Square area and adjoining neighborhoods of the city. The Chelsea Police Department Drug Unit obtained warrants from Chelsea District Court based on evidence of hand to hand drug deals made to undercover officers.
Chelsea investigators are confident that all 22 individuals will be placed into custody.
MS-13 MEMBER PLEADS GUILTY
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty Oct. 25 in federal court in Boston to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Elmer Alfaro Hercules, 20, a Salvadoran national, pleaded guilty to one count of being an illegal alien in possession of firearms and ammunition. Hercules was indicted in June 2018. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Jan. 17, 2019.
On May 22, 2018, Hercules was arrested in possession of a loaded firearm in an East Boston park, a location where numerous MS-13 gang members have been observed and where gang-on-gang violence frequently occurs. Hercules unlawfully entered the United States in 2014 as an unaccompanied minor. In April 2015, an immigration judge ordered him deported in absentia.
The charge of being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Hercules will also face deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence.
COUNTERFEIT MERCHANDISE SEIZED
Chelsea Police Detectives teamed up with Powers and Associates, a private detective firm as part of a nationwide anti-counterfeiting campaign to identify manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of counterfeit products.
The operation focused on three local businesses that were selling “knock-off” merchandise made to resemble high-end designer products. The raid was conducted on Saturday, Sept. 29. Investigators seized items including; handbags, hats, sunglasses, wallets, and other apparel that if legitimate would have surpassed $150,000 in retail value.
All of the counterfeit items were cataloged and stored at a secure location pending further court action.
Police warn that the purchasers of counterfeit goods often do so with good intention but do not understand they may be possibly funneling money toward many criminal organizations that fund; narcotic distribution, international terrorism or child/adult servitude.
The following businesses were involved in selling these products and face criminal action;
- Fiesta Fashion Boutique – 309 Broadway
- Variedades Gift Shop – 479 Broadway
- Coral Barbershop – 419 Broadway