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.”




State officials announce 8th human case of EEE in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that laboratory testing has confirmed the 8th human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus infection, a man in his 50s from northeastern Bristol County.

DPH and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) continue to emphasize that residents throughout the Commonwealth take personal precautions to prevent mosquito bites as they announced the next round of aerial mosquito spraying in areas of the state at critical and high risk for EEE.

Weather and equipment permitting, MDAR anticipates the next round of aerial spraying to begin as early as Monday evening, September 16, in parts of Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. While aerial spraying is weather and equipment dependent, above-average evening temperatures next week are likely to permit the application.

Communities that are scheduled to be partially or fully sprayed beginning Monday evening and over the next week include:

– Hampden County: Brimfield, Palmer
– Hampshire County: Ware
– Worcester County: Brookfield, Charlton, East Brookfield, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Southbridge, Sturbridge, Warren, West Brookfield

MDAR is currently conducting aerial spraying in parts of Middlesex, Worcester, and Norfolk counties which is anticipated to continue through the weekend. As weather, temperature, and equipment conditions permit, plans for subsequent rounds of spraying will include critical and high-risk communities in the counties of Bristol, Essex, Franklin, and Plymouth. Residents are encouraged to visit the DPH website at https://www.mass.gov/eee for the latest updates on spraying in their communities.

In addition to the eight human cases of EEE this season in Massachusetts, there have also been eight confirmed cases of EEE this year in animals – seven horses and a goat. There has been one human case of West Nile virus (WNV) this season.

There are 35 communities now at critical risk, 38 at high risk, and 120 at moderate risk for the EEE virus in Massachusetts. On August 29 it was reported that a horse from Granby was infected with the EEE virus. The Department received additional information and has now confirmed that this horse was stabled in Connecticut. As a result, the towns of Granby, Belchertown, Ludlow, Chicopee, and South Hadley have all been reduced to moderate risk. A map of the state’s current EEE risk levels can be found here.

“Even though it is September, it is still mosquito season,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “We continue to emphasize the need for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

“MDAR continues to conduct aerial spraying and also supports the use of truck-based ground spraying as conditions allow this season,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “We continue to urge the public to use the insect repellants suggested by MA DPH, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay indoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”

Additionally, MDAR reminds horse owners to promptly vaccinate their horses to ensure proper protection from EEE. If your horse was already vaccinated this year, MDAR advises checking with your veterinarian about a booster. Previously vaccinated horses may quickly respond to a booster vaccine and readily develop protective antibody. Horses of unknown vaccination status should receive two vaccines in the first year. Foals should be vaccinated as soon as they are old enough (3-4 months of age) and need a second booster vaccine for adequate protection.

Local communities are continuing truck-mounted ground spraying for mosquitoes. Spraying for mosquitoes does not eliminate the risk of EEE transmission and the public is asked to continue to follow personal protection practices.

Residents can learn more about EEE and ways to protect themselves on DPH’s website here.

EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. EEE occurs sporadically in Massachusetts with the most recent outbreak years occurring from 2004-2006 and 2010-2012. There were 22 human cases of EEE infection during those two outbreak periods with 14 cases occurring among residents of Bristol and Plymouth counties.

EEE virus has been found in 414 mosquito samples this year, many of them from species of mosquitoes capable of spreading the virus to people. An additional 72 mosquitos have tested positive for WNV.

People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours

The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning in areas of high risk.

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites

Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty unused flowerpots and wading pools and change the water in birdbaths frequently.

Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Protect Your Animals

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.

For the most up-to-date information, Q&As, and downloadable fact sheets about EEE in multiple languages visit the DPH webpage www.mass.gov/eee.

For questions about aerial spraying, contact the MDAR Crop and Pest Services at (617) 626-1700.




Taunton Schools Superintendent to wear Whalers jersey after losing bet

The New Bedford High Whalers football team defeated Taunton High School 24-13 last Friday and now Taunton’s Superintendent will wear a Whalers jersey.

New Bedford Schools Superintendent Thomas Anderson was pictured giving Taunton’s Superintendent John Cabral a Whatler jersey on Twitter:

New Bedford High School football players after their victory:




New Bedford parks will continue to close at dusk until first frost of the season

The City of New Bedford’s parks and other open public spaces will close at dusk until the first frost of the season based on the recommendation of the City’s Health Department.

Parks have closed at dusk daily since August 16 in response to the risk of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE); health officials have recommended that the closures continue until the first frost of the season, which in Greater New Bedford generally occurs in mid-October, according to the National Weather Service. Multiple positive tests of mosquitoes with EEE in New Bedford and surrounding municipalities have led the state’s Department of Public Health to classify the risk level in Greater New Bedford as ‘critical’ for EEE.

Through October 18, park lights will be turned off at dusk (approximately 7:00 p.m., but gradually beginning earlier through October). Athletic leagues and other organizations utilizing the park should not continue their activities beyond dusk, due to the increased risk of EEE. Should first frost occur before October 18, the City will announce any changes to the dusk park closures.

The same precautionary measures are advised for EEE, West Nile Virus, and the Zika virus. These include the following:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours – While mosquitoes are out at all hours of the day, their peak biting times are from dusk to dawn. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing, especially if you work or spend a lot of time outdoors.

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water – Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

Install or Repair Screens – Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.




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.




New Bedford’s Noodle Bowl restaurant to close its doors

The Noodle Bowl posted on their Facebook page today that they will be closing its doors soon. The business had been open for 17 months.

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