A major Revere Police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) investigation centering on Broadway Revere and Rt. 1 in Saugus has resulted in the arrest of 24 people for various drug offenses, further strengthening the crackdown on drugs and violence around Broadway.
Three weeks ago, after a rash of troubling crimes on Broadway, police announced that they would devote significant resources to the corridor and would have major news to report about ongoing investigations.
That ongoing investigation was a four-month effort by law enforcement in Revere, Saugus, the DEA, Everett, Malden and Chelsea.
Five people from that investigation were arraigned last week in Boston Federal Court for conspiracy to distribute heroin and 19 people will be prosecuted in the state court system for heroin related charges – including things like illegal possession, distribution and being present where heroin is kept.
Heroin and other related opiates – such as prescription drug pills – have become a monstrous problem on Broadway. The heroin situation has existed for about three years in the central business district, but really ratcheted up this summer – with open drug dealing and brutal violence against innocent bystanders.
Three weeks ago, a customer at a Broadway Chinese food restaurant was seriously injured in an assault outside the restaurant – an assault that was spurred by the victim refusing to give cigarettes to two youths.
Since that time, officers have been out in plain clothes making arrests, doing interventions and referring troubled youths to various programs like Roca.
According to Lt. Amy O’Hara, they have been out on Broadway, in Hill Park and even on Revere Street. She said they have been using grants from the state Shannon Grant program and a private grant from Roca to do the outreach and interventions.
She said that police could no longer arrest their way out of the problem that has grown on Broadway.
“We’re being pro-active down there,” she said. “We go out and talk to kids about the decisions they’re making and about getting in touch with resources if they need them – such as going to Roca and checking in with Probation. We do that right on the street. That’s a pro-active approach and goes along with the increased police presence on Broadway right now.”
Two officers walking the beat on Broadway Monday said they are enjoying being out and showing a presence. Both officers said they are developing relationships with people they meet and are learning important information that has helped with investigations.
Some of those investigations lately include:
•After a month long investigation, officers from the State Police Suffolk County Drug Unit, Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop police detectives arrested Olvin Augusto Lopez, of Chelsea, last Friday night. Lopez was charged with several counts of Distributing a Class A drug (Heroin). The investigation resulted in three search warrants being issued and the seizure of two motor vehicles and additional evidence that is consistent with an illegal drug distribution enterprise.
The collaborative efforts helped the departments pool their resources to bring an arrest, and Revere officials said they look forward to more such investigations.
•On the afternoon of Aug. 16th, detectives and three uniform personnel were assigned to plain clothes directed patrols in the Broadway area and several neighborhood locations that have been areas of complaints from citizens and elected officials. Officers arrested Raymond Schott, 34, of Lynn, after observing him driving aggressively in the Bell Circle area. Schott was charged with Operating on a Suspended License and Possession of Class B Substance with Intent to distribute when 15 grams of cocaine were found at his feet in the motor vehicle he was operating. There were also additional items recovered that are consistent with packaging cocaine.
Officers, also, after having contact with the patrol supervisor, made arrangements to have a local man admitted for substance abuse issues and he was transported to a re-hab facility for treatment by the patrol supervisor.
Finally, after observing what officers believed to be a street level drug transaction, two parties Daniel Dicenso of Revere and Fredrick Larossa from the South Shore will be summons to court for 94c violations after swapping cash for a controlled substance (Suboxone) that is used to treat opiate addiction.
Overall, police have made about 10 arrests on Broadway since announcing the crackdown. There have been many more interventions and referrals, police said.