On May 8, an army of Boston police officers fanned out throughout the city. Areas of specific focus included properties in South Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester and South End neighborhoods. Their mission? To stamp out illegal drug activity.
Even as some states are moving to legalize marijuana and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called for an end to harsh, inflexible sentencing structures for federal drug charges, getting arrested for a drug crime in Boston is still a gravely serious matter. If you were among those recently arrested or are facing similar accusations, a conviction could mean real time behind bars.
Boston cops promise more drug crime arrests
In the latest large scale Boston drug crackdown, police hauled in 36 suspects. In addition to the arrests, police officers seized a firearm.
"We're going to focus on violence as we move forward," William Evans, the Boston Police Commissioner, told the Boston Herald in comments about the raid. "As you know, drugs and violence go hand in hand."
Whatever the veracity of Police Commissioner Evans' sentiments, the bulk of the orestes on May 8 were facing charges for drug crimes rather than violent offenses. This latest crackdown is modeled on the apparent success of a South Boston drug crime campaign initiated by police in 2012. Police claim this campaign, dubbed "Operation Three Ring," has resulted in a drop in certain violent crimes and property crimes in the area.
Robberies, burglaries and aggravated assaults are indeed down in the wake of Operation Three Ring. However, the number of motor vehicle thefts has remained unchanged, and larcenies are up slightly. Crime rates overall declined in Southie in 2013, but crediting one police initiative for the drop is shortsighted and potentially misleading, as a number of external factors, such as shifting demographics, arguably play a greater role in the crime rate than police presence. Crime rates in generally have been falling throughout the country in recent years.
While the true reasons for shifting crime rates in South Boston are likely complex and multifaceted, the Boston Police Department has hailed lower crime numbers as a sure indicator of the success of Operation Three Ring and other initiatives like it. Officials have indicated that the 36 arrests made on May 8 are just the beginning, and that the public should expect more drug arrests in the near future.
Contact a Boston criminal defense attorney if you are facing drug charges
If you have been arrested for a drug crime in Boston, a conviction could result in years behind bars. Even so, you do have the right to contest the charges against you, and a strong legal defense could help you get charges reduced or dropped. Talk to a Boston criminal defense attorney today to begin building your legal case.