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HomeNewsFederal Authorities Charge Boston Gang Members With Drug Trafficking, Covid-19 Fraud

Federal Authorities Charge Boston Gang Members With Drug Trafficking, Covid-19 Fraud

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Federal Authorities Charge Boston Gang Members With Drug Trafficking, Covid-19 Fraud
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Federal authorities have charged about 40 gang members on several counts. The gang operates mostly out of a public housing development in a Boston neighborhood in and around the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain.

Authorities accused these gang members of dealing drugs, targeting their rivals in shootings, and recruiting young people with the enticement of appearing in their songs and videos. 

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy, these members of the Heath Street Gang are a problem to the community. Some other charges included unemployment and COVID-19 fraud totaling more than $900,000. They also allegedly stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. 

The gang even hit famous stores like Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret. He also added that authorities seized over 60 firearms when they carried out the operation. “One of the core missions of the Department of Justice is to keep communities safe, and the case we are announcing today goes right to that bedrock priority,” Levy told reporters.

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Therefore, the safety of the children and residents in the area is non-negotiable. “The defendants charged in the racketeering conspiracy have been alleged to be involved in three separate murders and multiple shootings,” he said.

“Some of those shootings left innocent victims in the crossfire, including a 9-year-old girl who was severely injured attending a family gathering.”

Many of these gang members will appear in court soon and will likely face heavy punishment. What’s more, the community residents are very happy about these arrests. As they pose a significant threat to their families, it is better they are off the streets. 

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“That is a problem we’re hearing about from urban police chiefs across Massachusetts and frankly across the country,” Levy said.

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“The honest, law-abiding people who live in the Hailey apartments want the same thing we all want. They want to be able to send their children off to school, out to play without fear they are going to be hurt or recruited into a gang.”

Micheal Cox, the Boston Police Commissioner, said in a statement that he hopes the charges and arrests would help them build trust with residents. “These bad actors that we targeted today took advantage of young people,” he said. 

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“They used fear and intimidation and violence to gain personally. They took advantage of the youngest amongst us,” he said. Cox continued, “They took advantage of the sons and daughters in these neighborhoods and turned them into a life of crime. This is an impactful investigation. This is going to be impactful for our city for some time to come.”

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Regarding the pandemic fraud, Levy said, “We’re seeing gang activity taking advantage of the situation we were all in during the pandemic and the rush to get money out to people who needed it. There was a lot of fraud.”

“We are seeing this happen in this violent crime sector that people were taking advantage of the loopholes and the fog of war, if you will, to pump through a lot of fraudulent applications.”

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