Massachusetts State Trooper Community Action Team nabs two for Fentanyl trafficking

A motor vehicle stop last night at about 6:30 p.m. on West Chestnut Street in Brockton led to the arrest of two men for trafficking in fentanyl, among other charges.

Members of the Troop D Community Action Team initiated a motor vehicle stop of a 2011 Nissan Altima on West Chestnut Street in Brockton for illegal window tint. The vehicle turned into the driveway of someone unrelated to them without signaling. Upon approaching the vehicle, the troopers observed the occupants of the vehicle to be engaging in furtive movements, causing the troopers to be in fear for their safety. After getting the occupants out of the vehicle, troopers located quantities of substances believed to be fentanyl (approximately 14 grams) and crack cocaine (approximately 2 grams) inside the vehicle. They additionally located more than $1,700.00 in cash on the operator, AYOUB BOUBIT, 23, of Arlington, and more than $6,900.00 on a passenger in the vehicle, ANTONIO MARTINS, 24, of Brockton.

Both men were placed under arrest on the following charges:

• Trafficking in fentanyl
• Conspiracy to violate the drug laws

BOUBIT was additionally charged with Possession with intent to distribute a Class B Drug and Trespassing with a Motor vehicle. He was also cited for illegal window tint and failure to signal. MARTINS was additionally charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class B Drug, subsequent offense.

Both men were held on $1,000.00 bail pending their arraignment in Brockton District Court.




Massachusetts State Police K9 “Chico” passes away after 7 years of service to the community

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that Massachusetts State Police Explosive K9 “Chico,” the beloved German Shepherd partner of Massachusetts State Trooper Rob Gallant and a cherished member of the Gallant family, passed away suddenly on September 6 at the age of 10 years, 9 months.

Born in Germany on December 9, 2008, Chico spent his early years at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, in the National Explosive Detection Canine Program. At age 3, he was assigned to MSP Trooper Mike Currier and began his career at Boston’s Logan International Airport as part of the Canine Explosives Detection Unit. When Trooper Currier retired, Chico was only 4 years old, too young to be retired, so he was reassigned to Trooper Gallant, who had already been an explosive detection canine handler at Logan since 2006.

Trooper Gallant worked with two dogs for several months of transition, working with his established partner, Barry, another explosive canine, while also training with Chico. This continued until Trooper Gallant and Chico were certified as a team and Barry retired after a full and devoted MSP career to live out his remaining days at home with the Gallant family. The two German Shepherds showed respect to one another and both had an incredible love for and loyalty for their handler, Trooper Gallant, which is the cornerstone of an excellent police canine team.

Chico had a wonderful personality and a youthful face, exuberance for life, and sparkle in his eyes that never failed to get the attention of Logan travelers, who would often ask if he was a puppy even when some grey fur on his muzzle would indicate otherwise. Along with his bright personality, Chico clearly had a great nose — all the makings of the perfect explosives detection canine that has to be comfortable around the public and in possession of a strong natural play drive since the serious work of seeking out explosives is not unlike a continuous game for the hard-working and devoted canines.

Trooper Gallant and Chico tirelessly worked the midnight shift throughout their career together. Like all explosive detection canines assigned to that important unit, their regular responsibilities included weekly rigorous training, checking the United States Postal Service mail nightly to ensure it contained nothing hazardous and responding to calls for unattended or suspicious bags. They worked tirelessly to protect everyday passengers and dignitaries alike.

In addition to their Logan duties, Trooper Gallant and Chico worked long hours protecting the public from explosive threats at such large-scale events as the annual 4th of July celebrations on the Esplanade, the Boston Marathon, and countless New England Patriots games at Gillette Stadium, as well as at the Flynn Cruise Terminal in the Seaport where cruise ships depart from Boston.

Chico was forever young at heart, which somehow makes his passing that much more difficult to fathom. He was completely devoted to Trooper Gallant, always enthusiastic to race to the truck and “go to work.” He was loved by Trooper Gallant’s wife and their three young adult children, who often joked about Chico’s somewhat “goofy” qualities and facial expressions — attributed that were, of course, truly endearing. When Chico would see Trooper Gallant’s daughters arriving from out-of-state at the airport, the only fear was that he might lie down for a belly scratch or otherwise be less than austere.

When he was off duty, Chico loved sharing family time in the yard, playing his version of dodge ball with Trooper Gallant, and — he especially loved this — sharing some sun in the yard with Trooper Gallant’s wife and kids, who would dote on him Chico with extra love and attention that he would eat right up.

While the term “good boy” is often used to describe our canine companions, working and otherwise, Chico was the epitome of a “good boy” and his presence will be terribly missed by Trooper Gallant, the entire Gallant family, the Massachusetts State Police family, and the K9 Law Enforcement community.

Please join us in remembering Massachusetts State Police K9 Chico with gratitude and respect for a job well done. Free time now Chico, for always. You have earned it, good boy.”-Massachusetts State Police.




Local woman receives Certificate of National Service for work as recovery coach

“Congratulations to Natashia Patricio, who received her Certificate of National Service for her work as a recovery coach and case manager through Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI).

She continues to be an amazing asset with the department in helping those dealing with addiction and recovery. She received this certificate while attending PAARI’s year-end graduation ceremony held at the Arlington Police Department.”-City of New Bedford Police Department.

From the PAARI website:

“The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI) provides support and resources to help law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery.

Recognizing that law enforcement has a front-row seat to the opioid epidemic and are in a unique position to prevent overdose deaths, in June 2015 the Gloucester Police Department launched the Angel Program, which created a simple, stigma-free entry point to treatment on demand and reframed addiction as a disease, not a crime. PAARI was founded as a nonprofit alongside the Angel Program to help law enforcement agencies create non-arrest programs that prevent and reduce overdose deaths and expand access to treatment and recovery.”




Arrest Made in Fatal Seekonk Hit and Run Case

A 37-year-old Seekonk woman who was struck by a vehicle last night while she walked along Newman Avenue in Seekonk with her 11-year-old son has died as a result of her injuries and the alleged driver in the hit-and-run incident has been taken into custody this morning in Providence, RI.

The suspect, Jeremy Schmidt, 27, of East Providence, RI, was arrested by Rhode Island State Police around 4:30 a.m. today. He will be arraigned in Rhode Island this morning as a Fugitive From Justice.

The suspect did not stop his vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, after the crash and fled across the state line after striking the victim.

Seekonk Police responded to the area of 893 Newman Avenue last night around 6:46 pm for a reported hit and run incident involving a pedestrian. When first responders arrived, they found the a male passerby rendering aid to the victim, who was later identified as Antonieta Vargas. The victim was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital, where she was later pronounced deceased.

The case is being investigated by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to this office, prosecutor, Seekonk Police and Rhode Island State Police.

If the defendant waives rendition and is going to be transported back to Massachusetts, this office will send a follow up media advisory.




Massachusetts State Police pull over vehicle for suspicion of impersonating police

“While conducted speed and traffic enforcement during the evening commute Wednesday on Interstate 495 north in Raynham, Trooper Chris Kaszyk of the Massachusetts State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section came across this beauty. Trooper Kaszyk stopped the vehicle, a Chevrolet Caprice with a police light bar on its roof, after recording it on his radar going 96 mph. In addition to the excessive speed, Trooper Kaszyk was concerned that the vehicle appeared to be a police car and could be used by someone wanting to impersonate an officer.

Upon further investigation, Trooper Kasyzk determined that the electronics inside the vehicle had been removed, all power to the light bar was disconnected, and there were no switches inside the car to activate the lights. None of the lights had blue lenses, but were clear LEDs. The operator, a 57-year-old Mansfield man, stated that he purchased the vehicle at auction from a used car dealership. There was no evidence that he was trying to impersonate a police officer.

Trooper Kaszyk issued the driver a citation for speeding, which carried a $315 fine, and will notify Mansfield Police to make sure they are aware of the presence of the vehicle in their town.

Once again, a traffic stop proves you never know what you are going to see.” -Massachusetts State Police.




Faces Of New Bedford #222: Kenzi Farland

Meet Kenzi Farland, 21-year-old Student, Legal Intern, and owner of Princesses of New Bedford. From an early age, Kenzi had been involved in singing and dancing. In high school she took these talents seriously, involving herself heavily in the theater program. Her love for theater inspired her to start her own birthday entertainment business, where her and her friends could act as their favorite princesses for children’s events.

At only 15-years-old Kenzi had started her own business and Princesses of New Bedford was born. The company instantly grew in size, taking on multiple aspiring singers and actresses, building Kenzi a solid team of performings. Not only did Kenzi grow a successful business with PoNB, but she also gave back to the community. In her time running the company, she and her staff have volunteered for organizations such as Friends of Jack Foundation, Neediest Families, United New Bedford, and the New Bedford Public Schools. She would balance this business, her theater practices, and a busy school schedule until she graduated from New Bedford High School in June of 2016.

Kenzi went on to UMass Boston, where she studied for a year and a half before transferring to UMass Dartmouth, to be closer to home and be able to continue to run her business. Kenzi is on track to graduate this spring with her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with the hopes of going on to pursue her degree in law. She intends to specialize in divorce law, as it can be a harsh and tough journey and wants to be able to provide service to her clients that go beyond just legal representation, but someone who can help and encourage them as they enter their next chapter in life.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Multi-Jurisdictional Investigation Leads to Arrest of Tiverton Woman

As the result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation led by Dartmouth Police Department Detective Derek SOUSA, police arrested Veronica READING, 36, of Tiverton, RI and charged her with trafficking in Fentanyl.

Police arrested READING while she was conducting a drug transaction in Fall River.

During a subsequent search of her vehicle, police seized 270 glassine bags containing suspected Fentanyl, as well as $1,357 in cash.

Following her arrest, police executed a search warrant at READING’s residence located on Mill Street in Tiverton, RI. As a result of this search, they located 7,011 glassine bags containing suspected Fentanyl with a street value of approximately $25,000, as well as $152,720 in cash.

In addition to the Dartmouth Police Department, the investigation included members of the Massachusetts State Police, Bristol County Sheriff’s Department, Fall River Police Department, and the Tiverton Police Department.




14 Graduate from the Bristol County Corrections Officer Academy

The cadets of the 44th Bristol County Correction Officers Academy walked out of the auditorium at GNB Voc-Tech Wednesday night to thundering applause and smiles from proud family and friends.

But before the graduates hugged and posed with pictures, they came together in a circle, put their hands in and celebrated together as a team.

“We started as strangers,” Class President Gregory Salvatore said in his remarks during the graduation ceremony. “From working together and studying together, we became a team. But it’s more than a team: It‘s a brotherhood, a sisterhood.”

For the past eight weeks, the 14 graduates received classroom instruction and hands-on application in everything from policy and procedure to defensive tactics and how to approach hostage situations. They received a full slate of first aid training, from CPR to being official First Responders, but the most important lesson taught by instructors Lt. Robert Matos, Sgt. Moses Isidoro and Corrections Officers Amanda Custodio and Robert Lavalette is teamwork.

Safe to say, mission accomplished.

“Eight weeks ago, I saw electricians, caseworkers, mechanics and food service workers, from 19 years old to 42, moving in different directions at different speeds,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said of his memories from the first day of the Academy. “Today, I see one cohesive unit, one team of corrections professionals, with one goal: Make Bristol County a safer place to live, work and raise a family.”

The academy graduates and newest corrections officers with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office are Adam Amaral, Daryl Araujo, Brendan Crogan, John Grecco, Adrian Maknooni, Jasmine Melo (class secretary), Rebecca Remy (treasurer), Salvatore, Carlos Sousa, Thomas Teixeira, Matthew Volpe, Kristina Westrom (vice president), Scott Williams and Trevor Witt.

Amaral was named valedictorian with a 96.41 grade average.

“It’s been an honor to share this experience with each and every one of you,” he told his classmates during graduation.

The class earned a guidon, a special marker used throughout history in the military and law enforcement to signify unit designation. The guidon is awarded by the training staff based on the class’ teamwork and togetherness; not every class receives the honor of carrying a guidon to graduation like this class did.

Academy Director Lt. Matos thanked BCSO leadership and his team in the training division, and urged the graduates to keep learning on the job every day.

“Your education does not end here. You’ll continue to learn and grow,” he said during the ceremony. “Find a goal and work towards it, whether it may be K9 or Special Investigations Unit or being a supervisor.”

The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office has openings in the next Correction Officers Academy, which is slated to start in early 2020. Anyone interested can visit http://www.bcso-ma.us/employment.htm for a job description and a downloadable application, or apply right on Indeed.com. For more information, please contact Caitlin DeMelo in Human Resources at caitlindemelo@bcso-ma.org or 508-995-6400 ext. 2344.




U.S. News & World Report: UMass Dartmouth ranked in top 100 universities nationally for student social mobility

U.S. News & World Report 2020 College Rankings released this week recognize UMass Dartmouth for the upward social mobility of its students and again rank the university as a National University. UMass Dartmouth, the only nationally ranked Massachusetts doctoral research university located south of Boston, first moved into the national category in the 2017 edition of the rankings.

Among national universities, UMass Dartmouth was ranked #84 nationwide and #3 in Massachusetts in the U.S. News & World Report social mobility rankings, which measures a school’s success at graduating students receiving federal Pell Grants compared to non-Pell Grant recipients. The university was tied in the rankings with the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Loyola University Chicago and DePaul University.

Overall, U.S. News ranked UMass Dartmouth #218 among national universities, making it the third highest ranked public university in Massachusetts, jumping ahead of UMass Boston. There are more than 3,000 degree-granting four-year institutions in the United States. The U.S. News National University designation is reserved for universities offering undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs, and are committed to producing groundbreaking research.

The Charlton College of Business was ranked #195 out of 504 schools nationwide. The school was tied with Bryant University, UMass Lowell, Old Dominion University, and Morehouse College.

“These rankings are a credit to our dedicated faculty and staff, who strive every day to help our students achieve their aspirations, while fostering an atmosphere of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity,” Chancellor Robert E. Johnson said. “And this is a credit to our students, who come to campus with a desire to learn and contribute to their communities.”




FREE Family Field Day This Sunday at UMASS Dartmouth

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office, in partnership with UMASS Dartmouth Athletics and the Charlton College of Business will once again host our annual Free Family Field Day this Sunday, September 15th.

The free event will be held from 11 am to 3 pm at UMASS Dartmouth Cressy Field and surrounding areas of 285 Old Westport Road in Dartmouth.

This year’s event will feature dozens of fun outdoor family activities, a petting zoo, food tents and free sports bags for all families in attendance. Some of the activities include football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer and golf contests. We will also be hosting traditional backyard family games, a corn hole, a can jam and dodgeball games. The event will also be home to a 64-foot inflatable obstacle course, bat races, a tug of war, a potato sack race, three-legged races, hula hoop contests, live music and a giant volleyball game.

Several food vendors will also be on hand and a resource section will be set up with informational tables for local service providers.

The event is open to the general public and will be completely free to all in attendance. We would like to thank our co-sponsors for this event, the Taunton Federal Credit Union and SouthCoast Entertainment.

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