Wareham Police announce passing of retired Off. William Fihlman, “a true public servant”

“The Wareham Police family sadly announce the passing of retired Officer William Fihlman.

Officer Fihlman was a true public servant, where he served a full career with the United States Navy and also with the Massachusetts Air National Guard, before joining the Wareham Police Department.

After his retirement from the Navy, Officer Fihlman proudly served the Wareham community for ten years (10) years. Throughout Officer Fihlman’s career at the Wareham Police Department he held the positions of, patrol officer, department photographer, and accreditation officer.

Outside of work Officer Fihlman was an avid fisherman, photographer, and loved spending time with his family and friends. Officer Fihlman will truly be missed.”-Wareham Police Department.


Wareham Police Department photo.


Wareham Police Department photo.




New Bedford has roadwork sites for the upcoming week of April 15, 2024 – April 19, 2024

“The City of New Bedford has roadwork sites for the upcoming week of April 15, 2024 – April 19, 2024, and they are as follows:

City offices will be closed on Monday, April 15th in observation of Patriot’s Day

Eversource will be working on gas main relays and services on:

• Main relay on Acushnet Ave from Phillips Rd to Bowles St
• Main relay on Acushnet Ave from Phillips Rd to 3082 Acushnet Ave
• Main relay on Brook St from Irvington St to Clifford St
• Main relay on County St from Cove St to Rivet St
• Main relay on Princeton St from Church St to Ashley Blvd
• Services on Central Ave from Church St to Conduit St
• Services on Jouvette St from County St to Crapo St
• Services on W. Rodney French Blvd from Calumet St to Bayview St
• Test holes on Church St from Park Ave to Nash Rd

Other:

• Contractor (Barletta Heavy Division) scheduled to start night work at future pedestrian bridge across Rte 18. Starting Sunday, April 16th through Thursday, April 19th MassDOT will be closing Acushnet Avenue, Rte 18 Northbound, Rte 18 Southbound and the Purchase Street Ramp during overnight hours from 8:00PM to 5:00AM for one night each segment. Traffic detours will be in place. 
• Contractor (PA Landers) will be working on a road reconstruction project at West Rodney French Boulevard from Cove Street to George Street. Overnight sewer work at the intersection of Warren St scheduled for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  
• Contractor (JH Lynch) will be working on the MassDOT road construction project at the intersection of Rockdale Avenue at Allen Street Traffic detours will be in place during workday hours of operation.
• Contractor (various utility companies) will be working on utility pole transfers at the MassDOT road construction project on Kings Highway from Mt. Pleasant Street to Oliver Street.
• Contractor (PA Landers) scheduled to commence work on Monday, April 15th at the MassDOT road reconstruction project on County Street from Nelson Street to Rivet Street.
• Contractor (Various utility companies) will be working on utility pole transfers at the MassDOT road reconstruction project on Acushnet Avenue from Tobey Street to Pequot Street.
• MassDOT will be staging installation and beam end cleaning and concrete encasements at I-195 East and West bound lanes over Purchase Street, County Street and State Street. Work will take place Sunday – Thursday with overnight operations only.
• Contractor (SCR Constructors) will continue site work at the future South Coast Rail station platform locations in the city. (Church Street at Carlisle Street and Wamsutta Street at Acushnet Avenue.) and continue site work at future pedestrian bridge across Route 18 impacting parking along Purchase Street between Willis Street and Pearl Street and at the Division of Career Services on Acushnet Avenue. If you have questions, please email the project team at SouthCoastRail@dot.state.ma.us
• MassDOT scheduled to start pavement preservation and related work on Route 140 both northbound and southbound from mile marker 0.0 to mile marker 5.2 starting April 1st and is scheduled until January 15th, 2026. Work to be conducted during overnight hours. Police details and ramp closures with detours to be expected.
 
Project: Lead Service Line Replacement Program Phase II   General Contractor: C. Naughton Corp. (Monday-Friday 7:00am -5:00pm)
• The contractor will be working Lead Service Line Replacements. Tuesday on Clover Street between Allen Street and Grape Street, Allen Street between Winter Street and Brownell Street. Wednesday on Short Street between Allen Street and Grape Street. Thursday on Field Street between Allen Street and Grape Street, Short Street between Allen Street and Grape Street. Friday on Oak Street between Allen Street and Grape Street. At times during working hours, these locations may be closed to thru traffic with signs posted to detour traffic around work areas. Police details will be on-site allowing access to residents only and assisting with traffic management.

Project: Grape Street Collector Rehabilitation General Contractor: Green Mountain Pipeline Services Subcontractor: Duke’s Root Control and Ribeiro Construction Inc (Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)
• The Subcontractor is scheduled to continue installation of the drain manhole and 36-in PVC drain piping at Buttonwood Park between the pond and Kempton Street.

Project: Phase 4 Transmission Main Reinforcement Project   Contractor: C. Naughton Corp. (Monday-Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)
• The Contractor will continue replacing a section of the existing 48-in water transmission main north of the railroad crossing at Chipaway Road in East Freetown.

Project: Shawmut Avenue and Howland Street Pumping Station Improvements Project General Contractor: WES Construction Corp. (Monday-Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)
• The contractor is scheduled to continue installation of granite curb and concrete sidewalk replacement along Nash Road between Shawmut Avenue and Mount Pleasant Street. Lane restrictions will be in place during working hours, with one lane of alternating traffic open. Police officers will be on-site to assist with traffic management.”-City of New Bedford.




New Bedford Police charge two teens after alleged moped theft, assault at south end plaza

“NEW BEDFORD – Patrol officers arrested two suspects after attempting to steal a moped in a south-end plaza.

On April 7th, at around noon, south-end patrol units responded to a call for two males wearing ski masks involved in an assault in the area of the Seabra parking lot. Upon arrival, it was learned that the owner of a moped had witnessed two males in the act of attempting to steal it. He confronted the suspects, and a brief struggle ensued, during which they threatened to shoot him.

The suspects made their way out of the plaza and were observed by an officer who attempted to stop them. They fled and crashed the moped at the Frank St./Hemlock St. intersection before continuing to flee on foot. Sgt. Bryan Safioleas and Ofc. Patrick Kustka apprehended both suspects shortly thereafter in the area of Hemlock St. and Rockdale Ave.

One suspect was identified as DAMIAN BRETON, 18, of Maitland St. The other was a 17-year-old juvenile. Both were taken into custody and have been charged with masked armed robbery.

If you have any information you would like to share with the police, you can do so anonymously by visiting our website, newbedfordpd.com, or by calling 508-99-CRIME.”-City of New Bedford Police Department.




U.S. Dept. of Labor fines contractor for New Bedford dock collapse; says could have been prevented

Connecticut-based Mohawk Northeast Inc. faces $214K in OSHA penalties.

“BRAINTREE, MA – A Connecticut marine and heavy construction contractor could have prevented the October 2023 collapse of a 200-foot section of pier on Hervey Tichon Avenue in New Bedford — which plunged five workers into the Acushnet River and injured two of them — by adhering to legally required safety standards, a U.S. Department of Labor inspection has determined.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found that Mohawk Northeast Inc. of Plantsville did not determine if the pier’s walking and working surfaces had the strength and structural integrity to support employees safely with the weight of materials and equipment on it. OSHA issued the company a willful citation and assessed $161,323 in proposed penalties.

The agency also proposed an additional $53,004 in penalties for four serious violations related to potential fall, drowning and struck-by hazards posed by the employer’s failure to do the following:

• Provide fall protection for employees working on the pier.
• Anchor or secure a crawler crane to the barge effectively to prevent its shifting.
• Provide life jackets for employees working on the pier and an adjacent barge.
• Protect or mark the crane’s swing radius to prevent it from striking employees.

“Mohawk Northeast Inc. had a responsibility to determine if the pier was structurally sound and ensure other required safeguards before placing its employees and equipment on the pier, but it chose not to do so. Proper planning and preparation could have prevented the pier’s collapse. While fortunate that no fatalities occurred, the company still exposed employees needlessly to potentially fatal and disabling injuries,” said OSHA Area Director James Mulligan in Braintree, Massachusetts.

The proposed penalties total $214,327. View the citations OSHA issued to Mohawk Northeast Inc.

Mohawk Northeast Inc. is a construction contractor specializing in heavy and marine construction, as well as tugboat transportation. It has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.




Man perishes after his truck plows into Massachusetts psychiatric hospital

At 5:36 AM Wednesday morning, the Devens Fire Department was dispatched to the TaraVista Behavioral Health Center at 85 Patton Road for the report of a vehicle into the building.

Fire personnel responded and with assistance of Mutual Aid companies, suppressed a fire in the vehicle. Apaprently the truck was on fire when firefighters arrived.

“The lone occupant of the vehicle was found to be deceased. No occupants of the building were injured,” Lindsay Corcoran, a spokesperson for the D.A., said in a statement.

No patients or staff were injured and are all safe. Investigators believe the act of driving into the building was an intentional one and that the driver had a loved one who was treated at the facility.

The investigation is ongoing by the Massachusetts State Police.




After more than 34 years of service, Dartmouth Police Detective Kyle Costa retires

“Please join Chief Levesque and the members of the Dartmouth Police Department as we congratulate Detective Kyle Costa on his retirement from the department. Kyle has served as a police officer for over 34 years and has given back to the community time and time again.

Because he specifically asked “not to make a big deal”, I won’t…

Kind of…

In honor of Kyle’s dedication to the department, community, and overall kindness and caring towards others, I propose a challenge to you… Today (and any day), do something kind for someone else. It doesn’t necessarily mean buying coffee for someone in line, or even spending money at all. Say hi or smile to a stranger, pay someone a compliment, call or text someone you haven’t spoken to in a while just to say hi or you’re thinking of them, offer to help, be a good listener, tell someone you appreciate them, be patient, the list goes on and on.

No matter how minor it may seem, you never know the impact your words or actions can have on someone else.

Kyle, we wish you the very best in your retirement and will miss you.

Congratulations!! 💙”-Dartmouth Police Department.


One of the Dartmouth Police Department’s Jack-O-Lantern contest winners, Sammie, who came by the station to say “thank you” for her gift card. with Detective Kyle Costa. Dartmouth Police Department photo.




Police arrest New Bedford couple and charge them with Fentanyl Trafficking

“NEW BEDFORD – New Bedford narcotics detectives have made an arrest following a significant seizure of fentanyl and cash.

On April 4th, Detective Jonathan Miranda concluded his investigation into a fentanyl distribution operation, which culminated in a search warrant execution at 164 Richmond St. The targets of the investigation were 40-year-old ANTONIO CONCEPCION-DIAZ and 39-year-old YARISBETH ROJAS-LOPEZ, both of that address. In addition to the residence, search warrants were secured for two vehicles connected to the suspects.

As a result of the search that followed, detectives located approximately 365 grams of fentanyl and 16 grams of cocaine, along with scales and packaging materials used in the preparation of narcotics for illicit sale. Additionally, $4,287 in cash was located and seized due to the nature of the defendants’ charges.


City of New Bedford Police Department

Both parties were placed under arrest and charged with trafficking fentanyl in excess of 200 grams, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate the controlled substance laws.

“As the opiate crisis continues to take lives at an alarming rate all across the country, our officers continue to target the biggest offenders who are perpetuating the problem. We continue to fight this epidemic on multiple fronts, and I’m proud of all the efforts aimed at saving lives.”-Chief Paul Oliveira

It bears mentioning that this investigation began with an anonymous complaint from a concerned citizen. If you have any information you would like to share with the police, you can do so anonymously by visiting our website, newbedfordpd.com, or by calling 508-99-CRIME.”-City of New Bedford Police Department.




Massachusetts man allegedly rolls through stop sign, threatens to kill troopers, throws temper tantrum

“In the early morning hours of April 10, 2024, Trooper Nehme Rizk, a member of the State Police-Millbury Barracks, was conducting patrol on Harding Street in Worcester. It was then, that Trooper Rizk observed a White Ford Escape in front of him fail to stop for a stop sign.

Trooper Rizk conducted a traffic stop of the Ford and approached the operator, who provided a Massachusetts driver’s license. Trooper Rizk engaged the passenger in conversation and saw the grip of a pistol with an inserted magazine, protruding from a pocket of a bag on the passenger’s lap. Trooper Rizk returned to his cruiser and radioed for backup. Trooper Rizk was quickly joined on scene by Troopers Taylor Powers, Brady Grunewald, and Erick Zelayandia. Troopers Rizk and Powers then returned to the passenger side of the vehicle.

Trooper Rizk again located the bag, previously on the passenger’s lap, and saw it had been placed between the operator and passenger. With a suspected firearm improperly stored and unsecured inside the bag, Trooper Rizk was able to remove the bag from the vehicle for the safety of those on scene. The two men were removed from the vehicle, handcuffed, and seated in the rear of separate cruisers.

The passenger, later identified as LUIS ORTIZ, 31, of Worcester, repeatedly offered different identities and dates of birth when asked to identity by Troopers. When Troopers demanded ORTIZ’s license to carry a firearm, he refused to do so as he did not have one. Troopers removed the object from the bag and determined it to be a fully loaded Glock 23 Gen5 pistol holding 11 rounds of ammunition. With the discovery of the Glock, Trooper Rizk placed ORTIZ under arrest. The driver of the vehicle was issued a citation for failing to stop for the stop sign and was released with the Ford from the scene.

Trooper Rizk transported ORTIZ in the rear of his cruiser to the Millbury Barracks. Several times during the ride, ORTIZ kicked and punched the cruiser’s rear window. ORTIZ then threatened to kill Trooper Rizk multiple times. Upon arrival to the Millbury barracks, ORTIZ refused to allow Troopers to remove him from the cruiser and threatened to fight and kill the Troopers.

During the booking process, ORTIZ was positively identified. ORTIZ continued to threaten to kill the Troopers during the booking process. ORTIZ’s true identity was confirmed through the fingerprinting process.

LUIS ORTIZ was arraigned in Worcester District Court on charges of:

01. Possession Of A Firearm;
02. Possession Of Ammunition Without FID;
03. Possession Of A Large Capacity Weapon Or Feeding Device;
04. Carrying A Loaded Firearm;
05. Improper Storage Of A Firearm;
06. Furnishing False Name;
07. Threat To Commit A Crime; and
08. Failure To Wear A Seatbelt.”-Massachusetts State Police.




New Bedford Police Officers make new friends at Special Olympics event

“City of New Bedford Police Department Officers Edgardo Llanos, Carlos Fernandes, and Assistant Deputy Chief Scott Carola were excited to make new friends at this past Sunday’s Special Olympics event at Babson College.

They were honored to be invited to hand out medals to the great champion athletes!!

Thank you for having us.”-City of New Bedford Police Department.


City of New Bedford Police Department photo.


City of New Bedford Police Department photo.


City of New Bedford Police Department photo.




Boston man pleads guilty to trafficking minor for sex, coercing multiple women to prostitute

Defendant also transported multiple women across state lines to engage in prostitution.

“BOSTON – A Boston man pleaded guilty yesterday to trafficking a minor for sex and persuading and coercing multiple women to travel across state lines to engage in prostitution.

Jimall “Progress Lu” Dawn Brown, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a minor; one count of transporting an individual in interstate commerce with the intent that they engage in prostitution; and two counts of persuading and coercing an individual to travel in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for July 9, 2024. Brown was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2022.

“Jimall Brown is one of far too many people this office has prosecuted for human trafficking. The pattern is remarkably predictable and it is happening far too often right here in our backyard. Brown promised his victims a better life, but in reality, he exploited them for his financial gain, selling them for sex repeatedly,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “No child or person must ever be treated this in this dehumanizing manner. This Office will not cease in our efforts to prosecute individuals who engage in human trafficking.”

“Jimall Dawn Brown lured this child into his clutches, with the promise of a better life, specifically to abuse and exploit her,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “It will be a gratifying day when his sentence is handed down and the cell door shuts behind him so he can’t victimize anyone else. FBI Boston’s Child Exploitation – Human Trafficking Task Force will never stop working to find and help trafficked victims, to prevent them from further abuse, and keep their traffickers from hurting anyone else.”

“The scars borne by sex trafficking victims are certainly emotional, often physical, and always long-lasting. Targeting traffickers and bringing them to justice is a vitally important mission for law enforcement and a major benefit to society itself,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden.

In 2022, Brown trafficked a 17-year-old, identified as Victim 1, to engage in commercial sex acts. He first met the victim, who was living outside Massachusetts, on social media and convinced her to fly to Boston, with promises of a “better lifestyle.” Brown posted advertisements of Victim 1 online and arranged “dates” for Victim 1 to have sex in exchange for money. Brown set the pricing for the commercial sex acts she engaged in, for which he collected all of the money. In April 2022, Brown transported Victim 1 to Nevada, again arranging for her to engage in commercial sex and keeping all the money.

In March 2019, Brown persuaded and coerced a another woman, identified as Victim 2, to travel from Connecticut to Massachusetts to engage in prostitution. He met her in Connecticut and told her that she had potential and that he could provide a better, luxurious life for her if she would come to Boston, where he lived. Victim 2 came to Massachusetts and Brown posted online advertisements containing photos of Victim 2 on commercial sex websites. Victim 2 engaged in commercial sex and was required to give all of the money she made to Brown.

In May 2016, Brown persuaded and coerced a different woman, identified as Victim 3, to travel from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts to engage in prostitution. He contacted Victim 3 on social media, told her that she was beautiful, that he had a modeling agency, and that he wanted to work with her. Brown said he would pay for her plane ticket to fly to Boston and provide everything for her once she arrived. Victim 3 traveled by plane from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. After she arrived, Brown took photos of her, purportedly for modeling, but instead he posted them on websites advertising commercial sex. Brown then coerced and forced Victim 3 to engage in commercial sex in Massachusetts and required her to give him all the money.

If you or someone you know may be impacted or experiencing commercial sex trafficking, please contact USAMA.VictimAssistance@usdoj.gov.

The charge of sex trafficking of a minor provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of transporting a person for purposes of prostitution provides for a maximum of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of persuading and coercing a person to travel across state lines to engage in prostitution provides for a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Each count also provides for mandatory restitution and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting U.S. Attorney Levy; FBI SAC Cohen; DA Hayden; and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police and the Arlington and Randolph Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Torey B. Cummings of the Civil Rights & Human Trafficking Unit is prosecuting the case.”-Massachusetts Department of Justice.