BOSTON – Over 300 federal, state and local law enforcement officers carried out arrests and executed search warrants early this morning in Operation Concord, a large-scale collaborative investigation into the violence and distribution of drugs by the Hendry Street and Woodward Avenue gangs and their associates who terrorized residents in the Bowdoin-Geneva section of Dorchester, Mass., and the Uphams Corner section of Roxbury, Mass. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was an integral part of the operation, working alongside their federal, state and local law enforcement partners in arresting these gang members.
"This effort shows our collective resolve in Boston and the Commonwealth to attack and dismantle these dangerous street gangs," said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. "For too long, gangs here and elsewhere have used violence and intimidation to hold communities hostage. As this operation shows, now it's the gang members who have something to fear."
"This community has been in desperate need of reprieve from the violence. We hope the arrests and prosecution of the defendants will quiet the streets and improve the quality of life for all residents," said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, District of Massachusetts.
"Today is a great day for the hardworking people of Bowdoin-Geneva and Uphams Corner," said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "Thanks to their help, and the help of our law enforcement partners, drugs have been taken from our streets, and these violent individuals who profit from harming others will no longer terrorize our neighborhoods."
Teams of law enforcement arrested a total of 27 people today:
- Twenty-five from the local area;
- One from California; and
- One from Maine.
Two other defendants are already in custody on federal supervised release violations and one remains a fugitive. Search warrants were executed at 12 locations.
As stated in court documents, the investigation, which involved controlled drug purchases, surveillance and a wiretap, began in the summer of 2011. It is alleged that the defendants have been involved in gang, gun and drug activity in the Bowdoin-Geneva corridor or other areas of Dorchester and Roxbury at the direction of Alexis Hidalgo, 31, of Dorchester, and Jonathan DaSilva, 29, of Roxbury. Wiretap evidence was a crucial component of the investigation and provided investigators with information regarding the alleged partnership between Hidalgo, alleged leader of the Hendry Street gang, and DaSilva, alleged leader of the Woodward Avenue gang.
Hidalgo and DaSilva are alleged to be responsible for the distribution of kilos of crack cocaine and thousands of oxycodone pills throughout greater Boston, as well as hundreds of pounds of marijuana, which they branded as high-grade and sold for up to $5,200 a pound. In a wiretap recording, a "mother-load" shipment of drugs was described in a call intercepted between Hidalgo and his associate. It is alleged that Hidalgo responded by saying, "You just got us indicted bro. If they are listening, I sell weed man."
"From the Berkshires to Cape Cod, the FBI and our law enforcement partners actively analyze and investigate hot spots of gang activity in Massachusetts. As a result, we have concluded several lengthy gang investigations over the past year like today's, which targets the Hendry Street and Woodward Avenue gangs," said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI, Boston Field Division. "Because of today's multiple arrests, neighborhoods in Boston and several surrounding cities and towns are safer now than they were mere hours ago. Our unified law enforcement goal is to eradicate the scourge of gang activity which adversely impacts the safety of our communities."
"This case demonstrates, working with our law enforcement partners, we are keeping the pressure on violent criminals involved in the drug trade," said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. "We will not tolerate these defendants and others like them from terrorizing our neighborhoods. We are committed to rooting out the bad actors who make our communities unsafe."
"The Massachusetts Department of Correction is committed to working with other criminal justice agencies in a joint effort to ensure public safety," said Luis S. Spencer, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction.
U.S. Marshal John Gibbons said, "The success of this investigation demonstrates the excellent working relationships the federal government shares with its state and local partners."
Special thanks to Suffolk (Mass.) District Attorney Daniel Conley and members of his office and the numerous local law enforcement agencies who provided substantial cooperation and assistance throughout the course of the investigation and during the execution of the arrests and searches today.