A drug bust in East Boston four years ago started an undercover probe that has led to the seizure of hundreds of millions of dollars in laundered drug profits, the seizure of large amounts of heroin and cocaine, and charges against alleged organized crime figures in Colombia and Italy, officials said this afternoon.
The multi-agency, multi-government investigation spanned four years and was built on the undercover work of an unidentified Massachusetts State Police trooper who traveled the world laundering money for the drug rings who shuttled money and drugs between the United States, South America, and Europe.
“This investigation not only been a lengthy one, but it’s been extremely complex,’’ US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said today of the US Drug Enforcement Administration-led investigation that was dubbed “Operation Fire and Ice.’’
She said some 20 people were arrested today in Massachusetts and in Colombia who will now be tried in a Boston courthouse for allegedly laundering drug money through the region. Officials estimated they seized some $200 million in cash, and more than 1,100 kilograms of cocaine, and 46 kilograms of heroin around the world.
Signaling the significance of the investigation to law enforcement in other countries, Ortiz was joined at an afternoon press conference at the Moakley Courthouse by Brigadier General Cesar Augusto Pinzon Arana, commander of an elite anti-drug unit in Colombia, and Detective Vittorio Rizzi, commander of a special investigation unit for the Italian National Police in Rome.FULL ENTRY
A nine-year-old Shih Tzu dog has been returned to the MSPCA-Angell facility after it was allegedly taken Sunday afternoon, officials said.
A staff member noticed the dog, Bella, was missing Sunday afternoon and reported her stolen to the Boston police soon afterward, spokesman Rob Halpin said in a statement.
A person who was at the facility Sunday afternoon called and reported they had seen a woman with a dog fitting Bella’s description in her bag, said Amanda Kennedy, director of the center’s Animal Care and Adoption Center.
With the help of the tip and surveillance video, police were able to identify a suspect. Boston and Malden police went to the woman’s house in Malden and found Bella. The investigation is ongoing, so no further details have been released. FULL ENTRY
More than 27,800 National Grid Customers in Everett, Malden, and Medford were without power this morning for nearly 90 minutes, the company said.
Power was restored about 9:25 a.m., said Amy Zorich, a company spokeswoman.
The outage was caused by a contractor working at the utility's Everett substation who accidentally came into contact with a guide wire connected to high voltage lines that service the area, Zorich said in a phone interview.
About 19,000 of the customers' power was restored within about a half hour. No one was injured in the mishap, Zorich said.
MALDEN – A Malden man was charged with murder and ordered held without bail today for allegedly killing his husband in what authorities called a domestic dispute.
Michael Losee, 41, was charged in the stabbing death of his husband, Brian Bergeron, 55, in their Clarendon Street home.
Losee turned himself into authorities Wednesday, and a not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf at his arraignment today in Malden District Court. The next court hearing is scheduled for April 29.
An attorney for Losee, Norman Zalkind, said today he expects to bring the case to trial, but he could not comment on the details of the alleged murder.
Two bodies have been located at 36 Dartmouth St. in Malden, prosecutors said.
State Police are handling the case and currently responding, said Middlesex district attorney's spokeswoman Cara O'Brien.
No further information was immediately available.
Danvers man leads police on 20-mile chase on Mass Pike after allegedly kidnapping a woman from her Malden home
A Malden woman told police she was forced into a car and kidnapped early this morning, according to State Police.
At about 5:45 a.m., Nathaniel A. Hudon, 31, of Danvers, who was described as an acquaintance, arrived at the 42-year-old woman’s home and convinced her to come outside and into his car, said State Police spokesman David Procopio.
Hudon had removed the inside handles of his car to prevent the victim from escaping, and was under the influence of narcotics, Procopio said.
“We believe it was cocaine,” Procopio said. “He was talking incoherently, and she was in fear for her life.”FULL ENTRY
Bill Brett for The Boston Globe
A 24-year-old Charlestown man who allegedly shot his way out of a locked bank vestibule in December in Malden has been captured, federal prosecutors said today.
Anthony Hamilton allegedly robbed the Citizens Bank in Malden of $4,700, then became caught in a "man-trap" triggered by bank employees, which locked him in the bank's vestibule, the US Attorney's office said in a statement.
Hamilton then pulled out a silver pistol and began firing at the doors and was able to escape. A number of 9mm shell casings and spent bullets were recovered from the vestibule, prosecutors said.FULL ENTRY
A suspected gun trafficker and two associates were arrested early this morning in a sting operation after they allegedly plotted to commit a home invasion and robbery of a drug dealer in Malden who was not a legal citizen.
Robert C. Kenney, 56, Christopher P. Littlejohn, 30, and Ramone Arakelow, 34, all from Beverly, were arrested at 4:34 a.m. after they pulled over in a Lowe's parking lot on Route 99 in Saugus to allegedly carry out the crime, State Police said.
But the would-be victim never existed and was just part of a fictitious scenario created by authorities who had been investigating the three men for months. Kenney is suspected of selling seven illegal firearms in the Boston and North Shore areas, State Police said.FULL ENTRY
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today threw out the convictions of a pimp and a madam, ruling that the couple did not lure a homeless and drug-addicted teenager into prostitution because the 16-year-old runaway had sold her body for money in the past.
In a 3-0 ruling written by Judge Fernande R.V. Duffly, the court reversed Diana Matos and Antwan Sampson’s 2008 convictions for inducing a teen into prostitution, a conviction based on the testimony of the teenager, who was arrested by Malden police and State Police during a sting operation into prostitution in the suburbs.FULL ENTRY
MBTA police are investigating a bus accident in Malden that left a woman hospitalized.
T police said the woman was struck by an MBTA bus shortly after 8 a.m. at the corner of Commercial Street and Centre Street in Malden.
Deputy Police Chief Joseph O'Connor said she was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries to her lower extremities but it is not believed to be life threatening.
He said Transit Police are investigating the incident.
On the beat
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