IN "RAIDING PARTY," POLICE SWEEP CATHEDRAL
Boston; November, 1994
In a collaborative effort, police officers from several law enforcement agencies swept through the Cathedral Housing Development Tuesday, arresting about a dozen suspects believed to be involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities.
An Area D officer characterized the operation as "a little raiding party." But in most cases, the charges are relatively minor. Eleven of those arrested were booked only for trespassing – a misdemeanor. Just one suspect was caught with drugs and another got charged with prostitution-related offense on an outstanding warrant.
So the arrests are not likely to keep most of the suspects off the streets, a police officer acknowledged. In fact, one suspect arrested in the raid about 8 a.m. Tuesday morning was back in the Cathedral area by 5 p.m., when he was arrested again.
Still, police say the arrests send a message to would-be crime doers that they are not welcome in the area. And while charging suspected drug dealers with trespassing may evoke images of a wrist slapping, police say it’s a common and effective way to get trafficking out of a neighborhood.
"That’s how you get drug dealers," said Richard MacDonald, an Area D community service officer. Often, when police arrest a suspect for trespassing, they find drugs or some other incriminating evidence that can be used to file additional charges.
On Tuesday, for instance, Talia Wright of Lynn got arrested initially for trespassing in the Cathedral area. But when police found Wright, 18, carrying 15 individually wrapped "green herb substance," officers charged her with intending to sell narcotics.