An investigation of drug and gun trafficking in Malden led police to discover the previously unreported robbery of a 14-year-old, and now four Malden residents are facing charges, prosecutors announced today.
Police were investigating the group known as the Maplewood Organization when evidence of the March 23 robbery was found, Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office said.
Prosecutors said James Randall, 23, planned for three accomplices to execute the robbery. He faces armed robbery and other charges in the case. He was already facing drug and gun charges related to the Maplewood Organization, prosecutors said in a statement.
Randall instructed the 14-year-old to obtain two ounces of marijuana and meet with his friend Cecilia Dotten, 19, who would pay for the drugs, prosecutors said.
Randall had a relationship with the victim, prosecutors said. Randall had sold the youth marijuana and the club drug Molly, on multiple occasions since 2012.
The victim entered a vehicle driven by Kevin Pierre, also 19, for the transaction. Dotten and another defendant, Bakari Betts-Clarke, 22, were also in the vehicle, prosecutors said.
The victim handed Dotten one ounce of marijuana when Betts-Clarke brandished a knife and demanded the 14-year-old’s backpack. The victim convinced the three to let him leave the vehicle unharmed, prosecutors said. He never reported the incident.
“These are the types of crimes that so often go unreported, yet happen so frequently as part of the dangerous nature of selling of illegal drugs,” Ryan said in the statement. “This is a stark example of the potential for violence associated with the movement of illegal drugs and drug proceeds.”
The investigation of the Maplewood Organization used wiretapping, prosecutors said.
Randall was arraigned Dec. 9 on charges of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed assault to rob, distribution of a Class B and Class D drug, and inducing a minor to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute. He was held on $25,000 cash bail, prosecutors said.
Betts-Clarke was arraigned Dec. 11. He was charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed assault to rob, and inducing a minor to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute. He was held on $10,000 cash bail.
Dotten and Pierre were arraigned Dec. 5 on charges of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed assault to rob, and inducing a minor to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Dotten was held on $2,500 cash bail and Pierre on $1,000.
All were arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court. If any of the defendants post bail, they will have to wear a GPS monitor while under house arrest. They were also ordered to have no contact with the victim, prosecutors said. Their next court date is Jan. 15.