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Officer Injured After Customers Allegedly Lined Up To Buy Crack

Police arrested two as a result of an undercover drug buy in the South End.

An undercover officer went to the intersection of Shawmut Avenue and East Berkeley Street last Friday night with $80 in marked bills looking to make a drug buy and then an arrest.

A short time later, at about 9:30 p.m., the officer, a member of Boston Police’s District D-4 Drug Control Unit, would have a fractured bone in his face, and two Boston men, Kelby M. Jones and Jose A. Cancela, would be in police custody and under arrest.

Here’s what transpired, according to the police report:

The officer went to the intersection, without a particular target in mind, and was told by a man there that he should go to the bus stop in front of Sid’s Smoke Shop on Washington Street.

The drug unit had selected this general area due to “numerous complaints from residents, business owners and pedestrians of rampant drug dealing and drug use, [which was] affecting the quality of life in this area,” according to the report.

Once at the bus stop, the officer met Jones, who officers had witnessed in a fist fight earlier that night. The officer told Jones that he wanted to purchase crack cocaine, and Jones allegedly told him that he could hook him up but that he wanted a piece of the drug in return.

The Drug Dealer Arrives

Shortly thereafter, a man in a brown leather jacket and jeans arrived at the bus stop, and people, who the officer said appeared to be drug users, started to walk toward the bus stop as well.

The man in the leather jacket began to walk down East Berkeley Street toward Tremont Street, with his “customers,” about 10 to 12, including Jones and the officer, following behind. The man then walked down an alley to Dwight Street.

Now on Dwight Street, about halfway between Shawmut Avenue and Tremont Street, the man stopped, and the people formed a line to buy their drugs.

The Buy

The officer stayed back, while Jones took $60 of his $80 and went to buy crack cocaine for him.

While Jones was concluding the purchase, two other men who had been a part of the group, one being Cancela, approached the officer and demanded a portion of his crack cocaine.

Once Jones came back, he handed the officer the crack cocaine and asked for his share, which the officer then gave him.

The Assault

After that, the officer began to walk away, but Cancela followed him, shouting at him to give him a piece of the crack cocaine.

According to the police report, Cancela then sucker punched the officer on the left side of his face.

The officer, now stunned and outnumbered three-to-one, tried to create distance between him and these men by moving through two parked cars into the street. Cancela was now in a fighting stance in front of him and threw another punch at his head.

The officer and Cancela then engaged in a “violent struggle,” with the officer eventually taking Cancela down to the ground, where the struggle continued.

Moments later, another officer, who had been monitoring the situation, arrived on scene and assisted in bringing Cancela into custody.

At the same time, other officers who had been monitoring the situation put out an “officer in trouble call,” and backup soon covered the area.

After another “violent struggle,” a responding officer was able to subdue Jones, who had been fleeing toward Shawmut Avenue.

The Aftermath

That officer received scrapes and bruises on his right arm and left hand, while Jones had a swollen right cheek and swollen eyes after the altercation.

The undercover officer was transported to Boston Medical Center where he discovered that a bone near one of his eyes was fractured in two places.

Jones was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court Monday on three charges, distributing a Class B substance, assault and battery on a public employee and resisting arrest. His bail was set at $250, and he’s set to return to court on April 19.

Cancela was arraigned Tuesday, also on three charges, armed assault with attempt to rob, assault and battery on a public employee and resisting arrest. After a meeting with a court clinician, he was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a 30-day competency evaluation.

SM_bos March 23, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Thanks to the officers involved for trying to clean up the streets. Negative stories can out-weigh the good work these folks do, trying to keep the bad guys away. Stuff that is worthy of any prime-time drama. Thanks also to the Patch for printing this. And wishing a speedy recovery to the officer.

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