Drug-dealing, gun-toting gangs that have terrorized a South End neighborhood — turning a local park into an open-air narcotics and weapons mart — have been targeted again by federal agents and police, who arrested 22 men yesterday in the third sweep in five years of the Lenox Street Housing
Many of the suspects rounded up during a series of pre-dawn raids yesterday are members of the Lenox Street Cardinals and other gangs menacing the Lenox Street Housing Development and nearby Ramsay Park, including the Villa Victoria Pirates and the Mass. Ave. Hornets, authorities say. All told, 19 suspects face federal gun and drug charges, 14 of whom were arrested yesterday. Eight other suspects, facing state drug charges, also were arrested.
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The gangs are accused of selling heroin, methamphetamine, crack cocaine and guns.
“Through their sale of weapons and drugs, these defendants bring violence, fear and intimidation to a community in the heart of this city,” U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said in a statement. “Lenox Street’s residents, surrounded by illegal activity and the violence that accompanies it, are made to feel like prisoners in their own homes.”
The majority of the 27 who were charged in the investigation — with street names such as “Buns,” “Bleed,” “9-Ball,” and “Blaze” — have long rap sheets. Eleven of them have already been shot or stabbed, “many more than once,” court documents show.
Police Commissioner William B. Evans said the arrests “send a strong message that illegal drugs and guns have no place on the streets of Boston.”
The Lenox Street development — which sits across the street from the long crime-ridden Ramsay Park — was considered by police to be one of the city’s top 10 hot spots for violence last year, with 30 shootings and more than 75 reports of shots fired in the area from March 2012 to June 2015.
Lawmen arrested 21 people there in 2011, then they returned a year later to round up more members of the Lenox Street, Villa Victoria and Annunciation Road gangs.
27 charged in major drug sweep
Laurel J. Sweet, Owen Boss, O’Ryan Johnson