Feds bust two Dorchester street gangs - By John Zaremba and Laurel Sweet, Boston Herald
Some two dozen men undefined with more waiting in line to follow undefined netted by local, state and federal law enforcements agents in a citywide crackdown on guns and drugs early this morning have been ordered held without bail for 10 days at their joint initial appearance before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings.
This cash was among the evidence collected by officials during a bust of thirty Boston gang members on drug and firearms charges, announced today by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz
Packed into a courtroom jury box in jeans, T-shirts and hoodies, the stunned-looking, accused crew was ordered to return for their arraignments Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
Thirty federally indicted members of two Dorchester street gangs were busted early this morning in a series of raids titled Operation Concord and more than a year in the planning that targeted a cocaine, heroin and marijuana-dealing ring, authorities said.
“This community has been in desperate need of reprieve from violence,” U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said. “We hope the arrests and prosecution of the defendants will quiet the streets and improve the quality of life for all residents.”
Those charged range in age from 30 to 36.
The ringleaders have been identified as Alexis “Papi-Thing” Hidalgo, 31, of Dorchester, reputed head of the Hendry Street gang, and Jonathan “Jerky” DaSilva, 29, of Roxbury, reputed boss of the Woodward Avenue gang.
Both men are convicted drug dealers on state charges, according to federal court documents.
Hidalgo and DaSilva are accused of pushing crack cocaine and prescription painkillers throughout Greater Boston, as well as “high-grade” pot they sold for up to $5,200 a pound.
In one phone call intercepted by wiretap, Hidalgo and an associate are allegedly heard discussing a “mother-load” shipment of drugs, to which Hidalgo responded to his cohort, “You just got us indicted, bro. If they are listening, I sell weed, man.”
Federal authorities were planning a news conference this afternoon to announce additional details. Ortiz’ office said search warrants were executed at 12 locations.
The FBI-led raid included “a few hundred” law-enforcement officers, including agents from Homeland Security Investigations, the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections and the Boston Police Department, an official said.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino called the roundup “a great day,” adding, “Drugs have been taken from our streets, and these violent individuals who profit from harming others will no longer terrorize our neighborhoods.”
Authorities began carrying out the search warrants about 6 a.m. Those arrested listed addresses in Dorchester, Hyde Park, Randolph, Brockton, California and Maine, and included at least one 22-year-old woman from Dorchester.
“As this operation shows, now it’s the gang members who have something to fear,” said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations in Boston.
Collings told the group the court will work tomorrow to assign them all lawyers and he will schedule a separate detention hearing to address the request of prosecutors that they all remain in the custody of U.S. Marshals pending the resolution of their cases.
“Just because they ask for it doesn’t mean they’re going to get it,” Collings told the defendants.
Family members, meanwhile, tried to connect with their own words of encouragement as the defendants were led out en masse in chains.
“Calm down! Please!” one woman called out.
All approached afterwards by a Herald reporter declined to comment on their loved ones’ busts.