Quincy police have made eight arrests and are seeking three additional complaints after discovering a surge in drug distribution and overdoses this summer at the Ocean Club in Marina Bay.
According to police, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, ambulances responded to 12 overdoses at the club, most associated with the drug known as “Molly.” None of the incidents was fatal.
“We noticed early on in the beginning of the summer when the Ocean Club opened - they are a seasonal place, from when they opened there were a couple … overdoses in May and things seemed to quiet down,” said Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan.
The trend reared its head again in June with another overdose, followed by a significant uptick in July and August.
The drug is a pure form of the main ingredient in the drug Ecstasy.
“What happens, the effects of Molly, people get dehydrated, have an increase in heart rate…and they pass out partially because of the dehydration,” Keenan said. “We had no fatalities, but we wanted to get out in front of the issue.”
Keenan said he met with Mayor Thomas Koch to discuss a strategy to deal with the problem, and decided to deploy several undercover drug detectives in an effort to be proactive.
Toward the end of July and early August, undercover officers reported witnessing several drug transactions. Police stepped up enforcement the following weekends, going out several weekends in a row and making several arrests.
According to Keenan, police busted deals in the parking lot and inside the nightclub. Eight people have been charged for possession or distribution of drugs, one of which was arrested twice. Three more people have been summonsed to court.
The issue has reared its head in several other parts of the Commonwealth, with several overdoses allegedly occurring from the drug in Boston’s House of Blues in late August.
Before this summer, Keenan said, the drug hasn’t been a problem.
“It hasn’t been a problem in the past - …there is no indication that it was around the area. Maybe sporadically, but nothing large scale,” he said.
Though the Ocean Club has been closed for the season, the concert locale plans to host a party on Sept. 20. Yet with the way drug problems have persisted, police said they are going to suggest that ownership cancel the event.
“In the interest of public safety, I don’t think it’s a good idea with what we’re looking here in overdoses and arrests,” Keenan said.
Keenan said he may bring the managers and owners to the Licensing Board for further discipline.
“Right now we have no indication that anyone in the club was involved, but we’re still pursuing that avenue,” he said. “We’re meeting tomorrow with management of the club and the property to see what will happen going forward.”
Club Manager Tim Collins was not immediately available for comment.
In the meantime, police said they have remained vigilant with other liquor establishments.
“We have no indication that it has spread, but I’m not naive enough to think if it’s spread to the Ocean Club, it hasn’t spread to others,” Keenan said.
Police have issued charges to eight individuals, one who was arrested twice.
On August 23, police arrested Johnnerson Chan, 23, from Chelmsford for possession of Class C Molly with intent to distribute, and possession of Class B Adderall.
Police continued the arrests on Aug. 25, charging William Naumnko, 23, from Hull, with possession of Class C Molly and Distribution of Class C Molly. Jeffrey Chasen, 28, from Dorchester, was also arrested and charged with Distribution of Class C Molly and Possession of Class B cocaine.
Naumenko was arrested again on Aug. 30 and charged with possession of Class C Molly. Suzanne Florio, 26, from Connecticut was also arrested and charged with possession of Class C Molly.
Police made additional arrests on Sept. 1, including Timothy Randall, 24, from Rhode Island. Randall was charged with possession of Class B ecstasy. David Patricio, 24, also from Rhode Island was also arrested and charged with possession of Class B ecstasy. Timothy Sliva, 23, from Connecticut was arrested and charged with possession of Class B cocaine, and Mitchell Molde, 23, from Connecticut, was also arrested and charged with possession of Class B cocaine and possession of Class C hashish.
Police are seeking charges on three more individuals.
Keenan noted that all of the arrests were occurring with people who were not from in town. Additionally, only one of the overdose victims was a Quincy resident.