By Seth Daniel
In a federal wiretap case that rivaled those done to break up the La Cosa Nostra gangs decades ago, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley announced a major drug bust late last week – a bust that netted one man from Everett despite most of the activity coming from Hyde Park.
Shaquille Lee, 33, of 28 Veterans Ave., was arrested in an early morning raid in Everett on Thursday Dec. 15 at the same time that raids took place all over the Greater Boston area.
The enforcement was known as Operation Wolfgang, and was done in cooperation with the FBI, Boston Police, the Watertown Police and the South Shore Drug Task Force.
“Together we are announcing Operation Wolfgang, one of the longest and most successful wiretap investigations in modern Suffolk County history,” Conley said at a press conference. “One would have to go back to the days of the Mafia, when the wiretap statute was last updated, to find a more effective use of telephone intercepts to climb the rungs of a criminal ladder.
“The information from those wiretaps led investigators well outside Boston – to Braintree, Brockton, Dedham, Everett, Malden, Quincy, and elsewhere,” he continued. “It took almost three dozen teams of local and federal law enforcement to conduct this morning’s raids, and the entire staff of our Narcotics Unit is at the Boston Municipal Court to arraign the defendants.”
The operation began as an investigation into the Mozart Street Gang, of Jamaica Plain. The investigation focused in on Yohan Gomez, 29, of Dedham, who was believed by authorities to be a high-level dealer within the gang.
However, it was only a matter of time before the investigation targeted in on those supplying him with the drugs. Chief among them was Elizabeth Comas, 26, of Hyde Park. Comas, Conley said, had no criminal record and is believed to have been bringing large quantities of heroin through the Dominican Republic.
“We were able to identify this previously-undetected heroin importer only through the use of wiretaps,” he said. “Under Massachusetts law as it currently exists, those wiretaps are only granted when applied to organized, hierarchical criminal enterprises such as this one. But as the Chief Justice of our Supreme Judicial Court has noted, they could be every bit as valuable in solving murders and other violent crimes if the Legislature took the minor steps necessary to bring the statute out of the 1960s and into the 21st Century.”
Conley concluded that the primary targets, and those arrested in the raids, were not low-level street dealers, but “kilo-weight suppliers at the top of the domestic supply chain.”
Conley said those involved allegedly ran a violent drug trafficking organization that conducted robberies, shootings, and armed home invasions – including two that were foiled as a result of information from the phone intercepts.
“Evidence suggests that they even placed an aftermarket GPS device on a rival dealer’s car, intending to track him, rob him, or worse,” said Conley. “These individuals posed a grave threat – not just to their competition but to the lives and safety of the community at large.”