Revere Police warn crack usage on the rise, make major bust on The Ave
By Seth Daniel
Acting on good police work and keen observation, Revere Police detailed the arrest of four suspects accused of dealing crack cocaine in the Shirley Avenue area, and cautioned that the use of crack is on the rise once again.
“Crack is really a big problem on the rise,” said Det. Rob Impemba. “We’re still seeing heroin, but we’ve not seen as much crack as we’re seeing now in a long time. It’s making a huge comeback.”
Crack cocaine was reached epidemic proportions in inner cities, including Shirley Avenue, in the 1980s and 1990s. However, through dedicated police work in Revere, the area was cleaned up and the problem became less of one.
While the drug has never disappeared, arrests for dealing and using crack cocaine were few and far between.
With the bust of a crack-dealing ring on Shirley Avenue last month, Impemba and others warned that such arrests are becoming more common.
Police said about a month or so ago, officers on patrol and detectives in the drug unit noticed a group of people hanging around frequently outside of 85 Shirley Ave. next to Costa Park. Through observations, it appeared these were ‘players’ who weren’t usually in the Shirley Avenue area. They also were hanging out with known drug users that police were familiar with who were from the area.
“There was a lot of foot traffic and new faces that were not readily known by police as being Revere residents,” he said. “When they started hanging around properties where known (drug) users were at, that was a red flag.”
Police conducted a one-month investigation into the ring, using undercover officers to infiltrate the ring and make several buys of crack. Impemba said they believed that the ring was up and running for about two months.
The chief player, Impemba said, was alleged to be Randy Grant, 33, of Roxbury. Impemba said Grant had no ties whatsoever to Revere, but started coming to the Shirley Avenue area to visit the mother of one of his children.
In making those frequent visits, he was alleged to have seized upon an opportunity to begin dealing drugs while there. Soon, he had taken up residence at 85 Shirley Ave., Impemba said.
“He has a long, long, long criminal record with several convictions for narcotics distribution,” said Impemba.
While involved in that investigation, police happened upon another man known as ‘Double’ who was also loosely involved in the ring and had been seen on surveillance video dealing crack inside a convenience store on Shirley Avenue.
To find out his name, police were able to tap into the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department database that matches street names or nicknames with real names.
Double was identified as Dionte Rivera, 24, of Lynn. He had significant ties to Chelsea and Lynn, but appeared to have no ties to Revere.
Police were also able to corner a local man, James Brennan, who was allegedly working within the ring. Brennan was out of jail on bail for an armed robbery case that happened earlier this year when he was arrested in conjunction with the crack investigation.
In conjunction with him, a Woburn man named Sasso with strong Revere ties was also arrested and identified as Mario Mestanza-Moran.
“It’s a neighborhood and quality of life investigation,” said Impemba.
Ashley M. Braswell-Dzohi, 25, of 315 Charger St., was arrested on a charge of assault & battery in a domestic situation.
Sandro Primo, 66, of Wilmington, was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct.
Xavier Vega, 24, of East Boston, was issued a summons for charges of three counts of violating a domestic abuse prevention restraining order pursuant to c. 209A.
Douglas P. Lemes, 26, of Somerville, was arrested on two outstanding warrants.
Paul A. Portanova, 87, of 189 Cooledge St., was issued a summons for charge of failing to register as a sex offender.
Derek A. Boyd, 26, of 72 Thornton St., was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Khalid B. allen, 23, of 11 Penn St., was issued a summons for a charge of operating a motor vehicle in violation of his license restriction.
Jean M. Leuci, 51, of 50 Fernwood Ave., was arrested on a charge of shoplifting.
Cheryl Ann Lawrence, 47, of Portsmouth, N.H., was arrested on a charge of shoplifting.
Carolyn Painter, 39, of Portsmouth, N.H., was arrested on a charge of larceny of property over $250.
Damien Scott Quinn, 27, of 369 Revere St., was arrested on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He also as cited for the civil motor vehicle infraction of obstructing an emergency vehicle.
Lucia Martinez, 38, of 129 Hichborn St., was issued a summons for a charge of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. She also was cited for the civil motor vehicle infraction of a marked lanes violation.
A 15 year old juvenile was arrested on charges of possession of a Class D controlled narcotic substance with intent to distribute and violating the drug-free school zone law.
Devin J. Torres, 26, of 34 Dana St., was arrested on a scharge of assault & battery in a domestic situation.
A 17 year old juvenile was issued a summons for a charge of operating a motor vehicle recklessly so as to endanger. He also was cited for the civil motor vehicle infraction of speeding.
Dengel Capeles-Rosa, 32, of Chelsea, was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Fernando R. DeSouza, 42, of 370 Ocean Ave., was issued a summons for a charge of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He also was cited for the civil motor vehicle infraction of following too closely.
Barry Murphy, 56, of Everett, was issued a summons for a charge of operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
Michelle Anderson, 53, of Malden, was issued a summons for a charge of operating a motor vehicle after her right to operate had been suspended.