In the wake of two significant arrests by the Revere Police Narcotics and Gang Unit, authorities said they have seen a shift in criminal activity from the Shirley Avenue area to the Broadway area.
Det. Rob Impemba and his unit â€“ along with Chief James Guido â€“ outlined the two significant arrests from this month, both of which were centered on Broadway.
â€œItâ€™s a time of year we tend to think things would slow down in Revere, but they are actually picking up,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™re getting a lot of complaints from Broadway and Cooledge and the Rose Street areas as opposed to the old complaints we had on Shirley Avenue. We had a number of successful investigations on Shirley Avenue in the past. Weâ€™ve had a lot of significant police presence on Shirley Avenue and the word has spread we have a significant undercover presence on Shirley Avenue as well. As a result, the problems tend to shift to Broadway because of that.â€
Chief Guido said he was proud of the work of the unit, and believes it will only be strengthened with recent commitments from Mayor Brian Arrigo to bolster the police contingent.
â€œIâ€™m extremely pleased with the pro-active enforcement by the CID, drug unit and gang unit,â€ he said. â€œAs we get more officers on the department, courtesy of the mayorâ€™s recent commitments, we can only enhance the drug and gang units to continue making Revere one of the best communities on the North Shore.â€
The most recent arrest, on Oct. 17, came at 50 Mountain Ave. of Christian Zayas, 20, who was found to have two firearms and 10 pounds of marijuana in his home.
Impemba said this was a gang investigation that came about through street-level work by police.
â€œThis was a gang investigation and not narcotics,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™ve been very successful with drug and gang investigations because we are targeting the impact players that are known to us and are cause for concern in the neighborhood.â€
He said the marijuana is a tricky thing with the new laws in place legalizing marijuana, but the 10-pound weight did trigger distribution charges. He said there is great concern by police for how the laws are playing out on the streets.
â€œOn marijuana, itâ€™s not as important to us as the distribution of heroin and crack cocaine due to the new laws,â€ he said. â€œIt is causing a significant problem in the gang world with street-level robbers and there is now 10 times the amount of marijuana on the street because of the laws.â€
Impemba said there are several gang factions on Broadway, including â€œsetsâ€ from the Bloods and the Cooledge Street area. He said Zayas was not part of any gang, but was an associate of the Broadway Bloods.
The second major arrest was purely a drug arrest, Impemba said, and involved an employee of D&L Liquors on Broadway selling heroin from behind the counter. Impemba said it was totally without the knowledge of the store owner, who was helpful with the investigation.
On Oct. 2, police arrested Nicholas Turco, 24, of 30 North St., for distributing heroin and crack from his job at the liquor store.
Police made five controlled buys of heroin from him, routinely $50 bags, with four of those buys coming while he was working at the store. The investigation started through investigations and also citizen complaints. It lasted more than two months.
He was charged with three counts of distribution of a Class A drug (heroin) and distribution of a Class B drug (Crack Cocaine) and one count of possession to distribute a Class B drug.
â€œWe have been very fortunate that we havenâ€™t had the kind of gang violence that happens in the communities surrounding us,â€ said Guido. â€œThatâ€™s a credit to the entire department and the drug and gang units. As always, the cooperation of residents assisting us is always very helpful to us in order to continue this good work.â€