A drug bust at an upscale Southie apartment complex — where rents for one-bedroom apartments start at more than $2,600 a month — came as a big surprise to residents where the raid took place.
Arrests Thursday by Boston police and federal authorities netted three suspected drug dealers. The men are in custody on charges for the distribution of methamphetamine, fentanyl, the date-rape drug GHB, and crack cocaine.
One of the busts happened on 50 W. Broadway, a new expensive apartment building in Southie. Considering the rise in gentrification in South Boston, many residents found it hard to believe a drug bust could happen.
David Levy, who has lived at the location for three years, said there have been problems with drugs in the neighborhood.
“There has been some opioid problems here,” he said. “My wife lives here, we have friends, single females … this is pretty unacceptable.”
David Maxwell, 53, of 5 Mohawk St., and Edward Hamill, 37, of 50 W. Broadway, were nabbed in what the cops referred to as “Operation Tomahawk” on Thursday and pleaded not guilty Friday morning in South Boston District Court to selling methamphetamine. Police said they found Maxwell with 450 grams of meth, and Hamill with 85 grams of the drug that authorities say is increasingly a problem in the Boston area.
BPD officers and federal DEA agents armed with a warrant on Thursday busted down the door to Hamill’s apartment at 50 W. Broadway, a pricey new apartment building. Hamill, who was inside, told the officers he too had meth and GHB — which is known as a “date-rape” drug — in his bedroom, according to the police report. The cops found the 85 grams of meth in several bags, plus several bottles of GHB, as well as scales, measuring equipment and packing materials, according to the police report.
The police also confiscated $1,800 in what they suspect is counterfeit money, plus $47,772 of apparent real cash, the report states.
The cops also charged Hamill’s roommate Kevin Riley with possessing meth — and took away Riley’s legally owned handgun, according to police reports.
Fifty W. Broadway resident Jackie Sullivan has only been at the complex since last month. “We were really shocked,” she said. “We really weren’t expecting it,” Sullivan said. She said she hadn’t heard from building management yet, but hoped to learn more about the issue. “I expect to get something from them in the next few days or so explaining what happened.”
Attempts to reach apartment management were unsuccessful.
A Boston Police Department crime summary released Oct. 1 and measuring activity from Jan. 1 to Sept. 29 showed overall crimes down six percent from 2018. In Southie, crime has fallen 12 percent. The police precinct at 101 W. Broadway is just down the street from Thursday’s drug bust.
Despite the drop, however, in Southie, totals for serious crimes such as rape and attempted rape, robbery and attempted robbery, and non-domestic aggravated assault are all significantly higher in 2019 compared with 2018.
Matthew Scharf moved to Southie from Philadelphia two months ago.
“I’m pretty pumped to move up here and the hot spots, I liked it a lot,” he said. “It was pretty shocking to hear that happened. I would never have thought that … but I did hear that there’s problems you know, down the street over towards the south, and that’s a little concerning. My girlfriend used to live over there. So, yeah.
“I guess it’s a little concerning, but I’d be more concerned for, like, families … and there’s a few families in here. This is a really nice apartment complex and the people in here seem really happy.”
Local and federal authorities had zeroed in on Maxwell’s apartment as a hub of what a police report says was a meth “distribution operation” between two Southie addresses. Officers staked out the Mohawk Street address following complaints from neighbors, and served a warrant Thursday morning, according to police reports. They arrested Maxwell and found the 450 grams of meth, a bottle of the drug GHB, and scales for measuring, police wrote.
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