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Public works employee allegedly sold heroin out of city truck

A Boston Public Works Department employee was arrested Friday for allegedly dealing heroin along his route while driving a city truck, according to Boston police.

Kenneth Clark, 49, of Boston, whose city duties included street sweeping and dead animal collection, was under police surveillance when officers allegedly saw him get out of his truck to sell heroin to a woman on River Street in Boston. When police arrested him, Clark had more than $1,000 in cash, plastic bags, and blue gloves. He was charged with distribution of Class A drugs, a second and subsequent offense.

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“Drug dealing is a crime, and it is completely unacceptable to abuse city resources,” said Kate Norton, press secretary for Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “This is an unfortunate incident, and the city of Boston takes situations like this very seriously. This employee is currently on unpaid leave as we investigate.”

A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said Clark had been under surveillance, police were aware of his alleged activities, and they were just “waiting for the right time” to arrest him.

Clark previously served five to 10 years in prison after being convicted in Suffolk Superior Court in 1993 of assault with intent to kill, according to Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

Norton said Clark started working for the city in November 2011, had a clean employee record, and was not required to pass a Criminal Offender Record Information check as a condition of his employement. In 2013, according to the city website, he made $30,188.24. The mayor’s office is recommending termination, said Norton.

Police were watching Clark from the moment he walked into work in the Dana Avenue public works yard in Hyde Park on Friday morning at 7:30, according to a police report.

Just before 8 a.m., Clark got into a Public Works truck, and officers followed him through Wolcott Square, where he got out of the truck and then got back in, according to the report. Police continued following him as he allegedly made “numerous stops” around his route, until he reached the intersection of River Street and Edgewater Drive and a woman walked up to his driver’s side window.

Clark and the woman allegedly talked briefly, and then Clark got out of his truck and walked with her until they separated at the intersection of River Street and Cummins Highway, according to the report.

Officers stopped the woman and asked if she had anything on her person, according to the report. She first asked if she was in trouble, then allegedly said, “I have heroin in my hand.”

Police asked her whom she purchased the heroin from, and she said she bought it from “K,” whom she described as a city employee in a yellow vest. Police then arrested Clark, according to the report.

The public works truck was returned to the city yard. The woman will be summonsed to Dorchester District Court on a drug possession charge, the report said.

Clark is scheduled to be arraigned in Dorchester District Court on Monday, according to Boston police.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.
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