One Year Later : Councillor Believes ‘Nip’ Ban Has Reduced Alcohol-Related Issues

One year into the ban on ‘nips’ – or small alcohol bottles – at least one city councillor is proclaiming victory based on ambulance data that shows major decreases in the numbers of alcohol-related transfers.

Councillor Roy Avellaneda said he has been monitoring data and anecdotal information surrounding the nip ban, which he advocated for a little over a year ago, and believes that the ban has resulted in major victories.

First among those victories is the numbers of alcohol-related transfers done by the ambulance in Chelsea.

“It’s been one year and it’s been the most significant feature in what we see with alcoholism and reducing the alcoholism that plagued the downtown,” he said. “If I was solely to look at how the number of ambulance transfers has decreased for alcohol-related calls, it strongly correlates to the time that the nip ban went into place.”

Date from Cataldo ambulance regarding alcohol-related calls shows that there was an astounding number of those transfers in the past. In 2015, there were 872 transfers, followed by 715 in 2016 and 742 in 2017.

The nip ban went into effect in the middle of 2018, and Avellaneda points out that the ambulance data begins to decrease at the same time.

In 2018, there was a decrease to 556 transfers, and this year, 2019, data would support that the transfers have nose-dived. As of June 30, there were only 127 transfers. Doubling that number in the second half of the year would still only result in around 260 transfers – which would be 50 percent less than in 2018 and nearly 600 fewer transfers than in 2015.

“My figures show a result of 66 percent fewer alcohol-related ambulance responses and I think that’s unbelievable,” he said, noting that public works personnel have also said they are experiencing less nip bottle litter issues too.

While other things might have also contributed to the decrease, including the advanced work of the HUB by the Police Department and its partners, Avellaneda points out that the HUB does great work but mostly related to opiate and drug issues. The alcohol issues, he said, stood out to him initially because they had plagued the downtown since he was a kid in the 1980s. It had become normal, and the numbers of ambulance transfers shocked him when he first saw that they numbered in the 800s.

They were nearly seven times greater than those of other issues, like opiates, and that’s when he said he decided to join the fight to ban nips.

“I felt we were focusing way too much on one issue and not enough on the other,” he said. “There were seven times as many responses for alcohol and we needed to do something on that too…It’s something I’ve seen since I was a kid. It got to a point where we just accepted it. When you talked to merchants about it, they would say, ‘Well, that’s Chelsea.’ That’s not the Chelsea we want and we don’t have to allow these behaviors – and by that I mean the behaviors of people who are selling these nips to people with a problem or addiction.”

The battle has been difficult, though.

While the City has instituted the ban, nine package stores in the city have sued in court, and that case is pending before the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC). The City is arguing that the ABCC doesn’t have jurisdiction, while the stores argue it does. That has been pending for many months, since earlier this year.

The process is slow because Chelsea has been the first community to successfully go through with a ban, despite the fact that many have tried and many desire to follow suit.

“There are a lot of eyes on this decision,” said Avellaneda. “There are a lot of communities around the state what want to try this. There are many that did try to pass it but the alcoholic beverage lobby is so strong they turned back. Chelsea has done it and all eyes in the state are looking at us to see if we can withstand a legal challenge.”

Surviving that challenge could be made even stronger if the data holds regarding ambulance transfers.

“There is no next step here, just monitoring the situation,” he said. “They didn’t just go buy the next size to drink. We aren’t seeing the next size bottles littering the streets. That argument is out. I believe we can see this made significant changes and we’ll just build on that.”

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Construction Updates

August 11 – August 24, 2019

Traffic Impacts

•Route 1 Northbound: Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the right lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

•Route 1 Southbound: Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the right lane at the Carter Street off-ramp. Just beyond the Carter Street on-ramp, the travel lanes shift to the right. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

•Ramps: As of Monday, July 15, the Fourth Street Off-ramp will be closed for 2-3 months.

•Local Streets: Orange Street under Route 1 will close temporarily on Saturday, August 17, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. From Monday, August 19 to Friday, August 23, Spruce Street between Sixth Street and Everett Ave will be CLOSED overnight from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for bridge work with traffic detoured one block to Arlington Street. The Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration and Carter Street workzone will remain in place until Fall 2019.

Work Hours

•Most work will occur in during daytime working hours (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take place during afternoon (2 p.m. – 7 p.m) and overnight hours (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m. – 2 p.m). Overnight work on the Tobin Bridge will occur on Friday, August 18 (9 p.m. – 5 a.m.).

Summary of Work Completed

•In the two weeks prior to August 11, crews continued work on the bridge deck, cured concrete, repaired steel, bridge deck, and joints, installed dust containment systems, power washed and excavated support column footings, and placed concrete columns.

Description of Scheduled Work

•Route 1 Northbound: Repair steel, waterproof bridge deck, and lay asphalt. Additionally, bridge deck removal will continue on the right side of the workzone through the Chelsea Curves.

•Route 1 Southbound: Paint new deflector plates.

•Underneath the Structures: Replace and paint steel; continued installation of dust containment systems; power wash and paint columns and support beams; excavate, drill, and grout around support columns; erect steel; place new concrete columns, and ongoing material deliveries.

Travel Tips

Drivers should take care to pay attention to all signage and move carefully through the work zone. Police details, changes in lane markings, temporary controls such as barriers and traffic cones, signage, and other tools will be used throughout the project to control traffic and create safe work zones.

The contractors are coordinating with local event organizers and police to provide awareness and manage traffic impacts during events. For your awareness, during this look-ahead period, the following events are scheduled:

•Red Sox (Fenway Park): 8/16 at 7:10 p.m., 8/17 at 7:10 p.m., 8/18 at 1:05 p.m., 8/20 at 7:10 p.m., 8/21 at 7:10 p.m., 8/22 at 1:05 p.m.

•TD Garden Events: 8/14 at 8:00 p.m., 8/15 at 7:30 p.m., 8/16 at 7:30 p.m., 8/17 at 7:30 p.m.

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National Night Out In Chelsea

Several organizations joined Chief Brian Kyes and the Chelsea Police Department for the celebration, including members of the second class of the Chelsea Youth Police Academy gather for a group picture.
Residents of Chelsea since 1984, Rene Thomson and her husband, Joseph Fuches, are impressed with how Chelsea has grown has a city. They were just a few of the residents who came out to Mary O’Malley Park on Tuesday night, Aug. 6, for the annual National Night Out celebration.

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Juvenile Arrested in Brutal Bat Attack at Mary O’Malley

Police have arrested a 17-year-old juvenile male in connection with a brutal attack at Mary O’Malley Park on Monday, July 29.

The assault, conducted with a baseball bat, left the victim critically injured, and there was no work on his or her condition at press time.

Because there was no Juvenile Session July 30 in Chelsea District Court, the juvenile was arraigned in the Boston Juvenile Court on charges of delinquency, specifically, armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (baseball bat).

Due to the defendant’s age, the proceedings were not be open to the public, and his name was not released to the public.

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August Madness : Umemba, Castro Prepare for Fifth Annual Let It Fly Basketball Tournament Aug. 10

The five years have passed quickly since Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro decided they wanted to run a basketball tournament for the youth of Chelsea.

“We’re just two Chelsea guys in the community giving back,” said Umemba.

Year Five for the Let It Fly Basketball Tournament is here and the best players in the area will gathering on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Jordan Boys and Girls Club on Willow Street.

The first tournament in 2015 was held outside in 90-degree heat. The steamy weather prompted Kyle, 26, a graduate of BB&N and George Washington University, finance professional and fashion model – and Cesar, 28, a graduate of Salem State University known as “The Grand Young Man” for scoring 1,000 points in his CHS basketball career, CHS basketball coach and paraprofessional in the school district – brought the tournament indoors and it’s been played at the JGBC basketball gymnasium ever since.

According to the two co-directors, all the stuff that makes the tournament so special will be back in 2019. There will be public address announcing for each game, a DJ’s musical entertainment, free refreshments, and a raffle table.

Key community leaders such as CBC President Joan Cromwell (“We couldn’t do this without Joan,” son Kyle Umemba says proudly) and Chelsea Police Community Liaison Officer Sammy Mojica Sr. will be on hand to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Chelsea Police Officers David Batchelor and Keith Sweeney are also valuable contributors to the tournament each year.

Sammy Mojica Jr., who played college basketball at Drexel and is currently a professional player in the Puerto Rico Basketball League, will make a guest appearance. One year, NBA player Nerlens Noel of Everett, made a guest appearance.

One of the best players in the Let It Fly Tournament will be Jarnel Guzman, an All-Scholastic guard who led Lynn English to the Division 1 state championship in March.“If they’re a big name player in New England, they’ll be here,” said Castro.

Twelve teams, eight high school and four middle school, will compete for the titles. A standing room only crowd is expected throughout the day.

“It’s great energy,” said Umemba. “We want others to follow our lead and I think it’s having that kind of effect. One of our scholarship recipients, Alfredo Hernandez, held a tournament at Chelsea High School.”

“There was a tournament held at Clinton Court that was generated by our idea for a tournament,” added Castro.

Umemba and Castro aren’t sitting on their success. The plans are to take ‘Let It Fly’ national in the next few years.

And if their organizational talents in making Let It fly the premier summer hoop extravaganza in Greater Boston are any indication, we would suggest either get on aboard or get out of the way.

“We’re building a platform in Chelsea,” said Umemba.

“The important thing is that everybody has a great

time,” concluded Castro.

And if you can’t be there to enjoy the tournament in person, Chelsea Community Cable Television will be there to record the action for a broadcast.

“We’re so grateful to Mr. [Robert] Bradley and his station for covering it every year.” said the directors.

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Roca Draws Praise as National Model at Panel Discussion : CPD Capt. Batchelor Speaks Out on Need Identifying High-Risk…

Community leaders praised Roca as a national model for its positive impact in helping to decrease incidents of urban violence during a panel discussion held June 27 at Northeast Crossing in Boston.

Carl Miranda, director of Roca Boston moderated the discussion that featured panelists, Thomas Abt, author of “Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence – and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets; Ed Dolan, commissioner of Massachusetts Probation Services; Tracy Litthcut, co-director of the Boston Mayor’s Office of Public Safety; and Anthony Braga, director and Distinguished Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University.

Molly Baldwin, CEO of Roca, was in attendance at the panel discussion. It was Baldwin who founded the Chelsea-based agency whose mission has been “to disrupt the cycle of incarceration of poverty by helping young people transform their lives.”

Abt, a senior research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, has some interesting observations in his book, which not only contains a rigorous analysis of urban violence and its consequences, but also a concrete and helpful framework for the moving the needle on violence.

For example, Abt writes that “In Boston, 70 percent of all shootings over a three-year period were concentrated in areas covering approximately five percent of the city. In most cities, four percent of city blocks account for approximately 50 percent of crime.”

Chelsea Police Capt. David Batchelor, whose work with city partners in Chelsea Hub has helped local families facing difficult challenges, thanked the panelists for their research and the information presented at the forum.

“Any information that we can get to make our city safer and helped people is definitely beneficial to us,” said Batchelor.

Batchelor then spoke about identifying at-risk individuals at a younger age.

“It certainly makes sense in identifying individuals that are at high risk and getting those people the services and remove them from that high risk,” said Batchelor. “My only thought is that sometimes we wait too long. I think there are identifying risk factors prior to a person getting involved in a shooting or being a victim – and I think we know that.

“I wish we could start [identifying high-risk situations] a little younger – we’re starting at 17, 18, 19-year-olds into their 20s – I think you can identify those behaviors almost in middle school,” concluded Batchelor. “Sometimes, we’re waiting for something bad to happen, we’re waiting for that person to be a victim or a perpetrator before everything is mobilized and I know it’s a challenge because they’re at a young age, but I think we’re doing a disservice not trying to figure out a way to get that help to them at an earlier age.”

Batchelor said he appreciates conversation about urban violence, “but being a police officer for a long time, but I wonder how things are getting done – how are we going to do this? We have to share information and there are privacy concerns and laws so we’re afraid to talk to each other and we’re all working in our own little worlds. It’s a challenge. Where’s the line where we can share or not? I think we need to be able to figure that out to help our communities and keep people safe and get them on the right track.”

(Information from the press release about the panel discussion was used in the compilation of this story).

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Construction Look-Ahead

This is a brief overview of construction operations and traffic impacts for the Tobin Bridge/Chelsea Curves Rehabilitation Project. MassDOT will provide additional notices as needed for high-impact work, temporary ramp and street closures, and changes to traffic configurations beyond those described below.

•No Work on July 4

No work will take place on Thursday, July 4 for the Independence Day holiday.

•Traffic Impacts

*Route 1 Northbound: Approaching the Tobin Bridge from Boston, the workzone begins in the righthand lane. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. –10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m.–5 a.m.).

*Route 1 Southbound: Approaching the Chelsea Curves from the North Shore, the workzone begins in the right-hand lane at the Carter Street off-ramp. Just beyond the Carter Street on-ramp, the travel lanes shift to the right. 2 of 3 travel lanes will be open during daytime hours (5 a.m. –10 p.m.) and at least 1 travel lane will be open during overnight hours (10 p.m.–5 a.m.).

*Ramps: All on- and off-ramps will remain open at this time.

*Local Streets: The Spruce Street temporary reconfiguration will remain in place for approximately 2 months.

•Preview of Upcoming Traffic Impacts

*Beginning on Monday, July 15, the Fourth Street off-ramp will close for 1-2 months for required steel repairs, structural rehabilitation, and safety improvements.

•Work Hours

*Most work will occur in during daytime working hours (6 a.m.–2 p.m.) on weekdays. Some work will take place during afternoon (2 p.m.–7 p.m) and overnight hours (9 p.m.–5 a.m.) and on Saturdays (6 a.m.–2 p.m).

Summary of Work Completed

*In the two weeks prior to June 30, crews shifted traffic to create continuous work zones, formed bridge deck, cured concrete, repaired steel, bridge deck, and joints, installed a dust containment system, power washed and excavated around support column footings, and placed concrete columns.

Description of Scheduled Work

*Route 1 Northbound: Form bridge deck, place and cure concrete, and repair steel, bridge deck, and joints. Clean water from a hydrant will be used to cure the concrete and may drip off the structure due the condition of the existing drainage system on the bridge. Crews will also remove asphalt and begin bridge deck demolition in the right-hand side workzone through the Chelsea Curves.

*Route 1 Southbound: Weld and paint new deflector plates.

*Underneath the Structures: Replace and paint steel, continued installation of dust containment system, power wash and paint columns and support beams, excavate, drill, and grout around the support columns, and place concrete columns.

•Travel Tips

Drivers should take care to pay attention to all signage and move carefully through the work zone. Police details, changes in lane markings, temporary controls such as barriers and traffic cones, signage, and other tools will be used throughout the project to control traffic and create safe work zones.

The contractors are coordinating with local event organizers and police to provide awareness and manage traffic impacts during events. For your awareness, during this look-ahead period, the following events are scheduled:

*Boston Pops July 4th Fireworks Spectacular (Charles River Esplanade): July 3 at 8:30 p.m., July 4 all day

*Red Sox (Fenway Park): June 30 at 10:10 a.m., July 12 at 7:10 p.m., July 13 at 7:15 p.m.

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Chelsea Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking

A Chelsea man pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Boston to possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute.

Adres Perez, 26, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 10, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns. In December 2017, Perez was indicted along with Cesar Alicea, who was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charging documents allege that both men were members of the East Side Money Gang.

On Oct. 31, 2017, police in Revere observed what they believed was a drug deal happening from a car. The officers stopped the car, which was driven by Perez – with Alicea in the passenger seat –removed Perez from the car, and pat-frisked him. At the same time, Alicea ran from the car and threw an item, which was recovered and determined to be a .25 caliber Raven Arms pistol. Police later recovered crack cocaine from the car and heroin on Perez.

Alicea previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced in January 2019 to 48 months in prison.

The charge of possession with intent to distribute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $1 million.

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Police Briefs 06-13-2019

By Seth Daniel and Paul Koolloian


Missing Child Reunited with Parents

On June 4, Chelsea Police reunited a missing 10-year-old Chelsea girl with her parents on after the Kelly school student told officers she fell asleep on the MBTA bus she takes home from school. The juvenile told officers she ended up at the Maverick Square MBTA station where she became confused and proceeded onto another MBTA bus that she was unfamiliar with. At some point, she left the bus in the area of North Shore Road in Revere where she began to walk on the busy road. During this time, the parents responded to the police station to report their daughter missing. Officers used the young girl’s cell phone to “ping” her location in Revere. While Chelsea, Transit and Revere Police were searching the area the young girl was located by an MBTA bus driver who transported her to the Wonderland “T” Station in Revere. She was then reunited back with her parents at Chelsea Police Headquarters. Chelsea officers are working with the parents and the school in addressing future transportation options for the young girl who was unharmed in the incident.

Struggle Without a Shirt

On May 27, at 1:20 a.m., officers responded to the area 176 Clark Ave. for a report of a disturbance. The report to officers was that witnesses were reporting they saw a male who appeared drunk, with no t-shirt on, fighting with a female who was preventing him from getting into the home. Officers struggled with the male in attempting to calm him down. After a struggle to restrain him, he was placed into custody. The male was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation prior to being booked at CPD.

Eber Orantes, 33, of 176 Clark Ave., was charged with disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting arrest.

Threated With Strange Weapon

On May 30, at 9:20 p.m., officers responded in the area of Normandy Road at Garfield Avenue for a report of a road rage incident involving a firearm. Officers were given the description of the vehicle in question. It was said to be a black Honda Accord operating on Normandy Road. CPD officers located the vehicle and found the subject to have a modified instrument that resembled a firearm. The victim in the other vehicle provided other information that led to the male being arrested.

Tanvir Zahir, 21, of Stoneham, was charged with violating the motor vehicle ordinance, violating the dangerous weapons ordinance, and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Swallowed Bag of Crack

On May 31, at 9:30 a.m., Officers observed a male party known to them from previous drug offenses walking with an unknown male on Chestnut Street near Fourth Street. The officers believed they then witnessed a drug transaction between the two. The subject admitted he swallowed a bag of “crack “ when he was approached by the officers. A search of his person uncovered more drugs and he was placed under arrest. The second male was identified and placed under arrest on the scene. The subject who ingested the narcotics was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation.

Argenis Felipe, 33, of East Boston, was charged with possession to distribute a Class B drug (crack), conspiracy, and distribution of a Class B drug.

Box Cutter

On May 31, at 11 a.m., officers were dispatched to the parking lot of 260 Clark Ave. for a fight in progress. Officers observed two tenants of the building in an argument. One tenant accused the second of threatening him with a box cutter. That item was retrieved and that male was taken into custody.

Jody Robinson, 59, of 260 Clark Ave., was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

Swerved at Pedestrian

On June 1, at 9:10 a.m., an off-duty CPD officer was traveling on Hawthorne Street towards Chester Avenue when he saw a male party crossing the street. The officer noticed a Toyota Corolla laying on his horn and then began to intentionally drive towards the male party that was crossing the road. The victim had to jump four to six feet to his rear to avoid being struck by the vehicle.

The officer believed the operator swerved in his direction deliberately trying to strike the victim, which could have resulted in serious injuries. CPD officers responded to assist and the male operator was placed in custody for assault with a dangerous weapon.

Eduardo Garcia, 35, of East Boston, was charged with failing to slow, reckless operation, and assault with a dangerous weapon (car).

MS-13 Member Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

An MS-13 member was sentenced last week for being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Nery Rodriguez Diaz, 19, a Salvadoran national who resided in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Diaz will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence.

On May 22, 2018, Diaz and another MS-13 member, Elmer Alfaro Hercules, were arrested in possession of loaded firearms in Bremen Street Park in East Boston, a location where numerous MS-13 gang members have been observed and where gang-on-gang violence frequently occurs.

The investigation revealed that Diaz and Hercules each separately and unlawfully entered the United States in 2014 as unaccompanied minors. Both Diaz and Hercules were charged federally for being aliens in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Hercules previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Hercules will also be subject to deportation proceedings after the completion of his sentence.

Chelsea Gang Leader Sentenced to Over 15 years in Prison

A leader of the East Side Money Gang (ESMG) was sentenced last week in federal court in Boston on racketeering, drug trafficking and firearms trafficking charges.

Angel “Stackz” Mejia Zelaya, 24, of Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 188 months in prison and five years of supervised release. In January 2019, Mejia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license.

Mejia was a leader in the ESMG, a violent, Chelsea-based street gang, which was responsible for various violent crimes, including multiple shootings, and drug distribution in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia, as well as other members and associates of the gang, were also actively involved in illegally selling firearms, including handguns and shotguns, in and around Chelsea.

Mejia participated in multiple, gang-related shootings.

On July 5, 2015, Mejia was involved in a shooting targeting a rival gang member on a public street in Chelsea, which did not result in the rival gang member being injured. On March 29, 2016, Mejia and his lieutenant, Josue “Superbad” Rodriguez, agreed to provide a .22 caliber revolver to a third ESMG member, Brandon “Big Baby” Baez, so that Baez could “spank” with it – meaning that he could use it against rivals of ESMG. On April 3, 2016, in Revere, Baez used the revolver to attempt to murder two men believed to be members/associates of a rival gang as they sat in a vehicle. Both men were wounded, but not killed. Baez called Mejia immediately after the shooting to inform Mejia that Baez had just shot two men. Mejia further admitted to supplying other ESMG gang members with firearms, including a juvenile who then accidently shot another person.

While Mejia was the leader of the ESMG, the gang dealt substantial quantities of drugs, including cocaine and cocaine base (crack), in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia was responsible for the distribution of at least a kilogram of cocaine base. Mejia and his gang subordinates stored drugs at and distributed drugs from a residence on Tudor Street in Chelsea and another residence in the Chelsea area. The gang kept handguns at both locations to protect their drug operations, as well as for other gang activities.

The prosecution of Mejia arose out of an investigation of various street gangs, including the 18th Street Gang, ESMG and the Boylston Street Gang, which were responsible for fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts. During the course of the investigation, more than 70 firearms were seized.

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Ambrosino, Walsh Wary of 4 A.M. Encore Liquor License

Everett might be all-in on the 4 a.m. extending liquor license for Encore Boston Harbor, but surrounding cities like Chelsea aren’t so excited.

In comments this week, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Chelsea City Manager Tom Ambrosino said they weren’t in favor of Encore’s request for a limited 4 a.m. liquor license from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). The request is currently under review and in a public comment period. It would only apply to those actively engaged in gaming, and the last call would be 3:30 a.m. Most other liquor licenses have a 2 a.m. cutoff.

Chelsea City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he doesn’t support the idea, seeing no advantage to Chelsea in having a luxury casino open late just a few hundred yards from the Chelsea city line.

“That would have no positive benefit to the City of Chelsea, so it would not be something I would favor,” he said.

Mayor Martin Walsh agreed with those sentiments as well.

“When the Legislature wrote the bill to have casino gaming, it was a 2 a.m. liquor license, which I voted on,” said Mayor Walsh. “I think that at this point in time, we should get the casino open, and see how the 2 a.m. license works. If there is a need, if there is a desire, or if there is a concern that it hampers the business, then I think we should explore the opportunity of maybe going until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. But right now, at opening, closing at 2 a.m. – let’s see what it looks like. You can’t say there are concerns there until it’s open. I would request we wait and then have a full vetting. Right now it needs to be opened and see how it all works with a 2 a.m. closing.”

Meanwhile, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said the later closing hour is critical to the casino being an international destination, as no such 2 a.m. rules apply in other locales where Wynn Resorts operates.

“The City of Everett is committed to supporting the success of the Encore Boston Harbor Resort,” he said. “In order for it to be a destination for an international clientele, the resort needs to be able to offer these clients a cocktail during the time they play. At 2 a.m., all the bars and restaurants will be closed, and drinks will only be served to those on the casino floor by a trained and certified server. Over-serving and irresponsible behavior will not be tolerated.”

He added that State Police, Everett Police and Encore security would be on site during the late hours and transportation services would be available for guests.

Walsh said he realizes that the Springfield casino already has a 4 a.m. license, but he also added that the circumstances are different in Everett. He said there are a lot of other cities and towns in the immediate area without such licenses. He said there has to be a dialog with everyone after the first six months.

“I’m not going to assume they’ll do 4 a.m.,” he said. “I’ll ask the Gaming Commission to be respectful of the surrounding cities and towns and see how the process works and see how the casino does in its first six months. Then we’ll revisit it and have a conversation and dialog at this point.

“We filed legislation (in Boston) a few years ago to open some of the bars and clubs later,” he continued. “So, that’s why I think you need a six-month vetting. Let’s assume for a moment the Gaming Commission grants the 4 a.m. license, that puts a lot of businesses in surrounding cities and town, including Boston, at a serious disadvantage. I think let’s wait and see what the 2 a.m. does…It’s not simply opening the casino until 4 a.m. It’s about having a conversation about other cities and towns and their licenses and what would happen in their establishments.”

The MGC is expected to talk more about the 4 a.m. license application at its next meeting on May 22.

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