A crackdown on gang activity at the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments complex in Jamaica Plain yielded federal indictments of nine young men on drug and gun charges, officials said Monday.
Eight suspects are members of the violent Heath Street Gang, according to legal filings. The sweep is just the tip of the iceberg, said Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans.
“We’re going to continue to go at Heath Street [members],” Evans said. “And next will be other developments such as Mission Hill and Annunciation Road where we’ve also seen an uptick in the violence. We’re going to take off one gang at a time.”
State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, whose district includes the Hailey complex, lauded investigators for their work and said community stakeholders have been working with local youth in an effort to “stop the wave of violence.”
“Today was a big piece of that,” he said.
An affidavit filed in the case by ATF Special Agent Keltar Mui said the Hailey complex, formerly Bromley-Heath, was the site of frequent violence between January and Dec. 10 of last year, including one murder, eight nonfatal shootings, and 25 robberies. Twenty drug arrests were made there.
The homicide victim was 16-year-old Gerrod Brown, who was gunned down on Halloween night.
None of the men named in the federal indictment have been charged with Brown’s murder. Evans said the investigation into his slaying remains active.
Among those charged are Heath Street Gang members Dominique “Heff” Finch, 27; his brother James Finch, 32; Kendrick “K-Roc” Tate, 25; Cerone “JP” Davis, 25; Joe “Profit” Simmons, 30; his brother Jarrod “Rizz” Simmons, 21; Kevin “Works” Smith, 27; and Javonte “Big Dog” Robinson, 21.
A ninth defendant, Franklin “Frankie So Smooth” Safo-Agyare, 25, is not a Heath Street member but was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm for a gun sale he allegedly made to a cooperating witness in a parking lot next to the Hailey Apartments, Mui wrote.
Dominique Finch, a “constant presence” in the development who’s been shot twice in separate incidents, is charged with selling crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of the complex, according to police and court records.
Tate is currently serving a state prison sentenced for unrelated charges and was shot in 2011, the affidavit said. In the federal case, he allegedly sold crack cocaine and a gun to a cooperating witness in April.
Robinson is charged with selling crack cocaine and has emerged as “one of the most active dealers” during the investigation, Mui wrote.
Robinson was shot in the chest in 2014 and told a cooperating witness in the current case that he was sending 10 guns including a “chopper,” slang for assault rifle, to “the projects” to retaliate against anyone responsible for murdering one of his friends, the affidavit said. It was unclear who his friend was.
“Gangs are an organized, long-term threat to our neighborhoods,” said US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling in a statement. “All of us have the right to live in safe communities — without fear of getting hurt, being subjected to drug dealing on our street corners, or our children being recruited into a life of crime.”