A man who allegedly wheeled both his daughter and a shotgun in a stroller on his way to sell the weapon at the Mary Ellen McCormack development and a man charged with selling heroin and fentanyl there were arrested on federal charges yesterday as part of a South Boston crackdown that documents filed in court suggest could result in more arrests.
Both arrests stem from an ATF investigation into drug and gun sales at the McCormack, Old Colony and D Street projects that began in August, 2017, according to court documents.
Jermaine Tindal, 29, was charged with possessing a firearm and ammunition after being previously convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison - a felony shoplifting conviction in South Carolina in 2013 - the US Attorney's office in Boston reports. Jomar Ventura, 24, was charged with four counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl.
According to affidavits by ATF agents involved in the case, both men were snared by an informant who had been set up by ATF with an apartment at Mary Ellen McCormack - in part due to the difficulty of setting up surveillance in the development without it becoming noticeable by prospective targets.
Tindal, one of the affidavits states, sold the informant a Harrington and Richardson Model 440 12-gauge shotgun and five rounds of ammunition on the evening of July 19.
The affidavit in his case describes how Tindal allegedly transported the shotgun from his apartment in the Old Colony development to Mary Ellen McCormack:
At approximately 6:26 pm, ATF surveillance observed Tindal walking in the direction of the CW's [informant's] apartment. Tindal was pushing a stroller which was occupied with a child. Shortly after, Tindal, accompanied by a young female child, entered the CW's apartment and placed a black duffle bag on a table for the CW to inspect. Inside the duffle bag, the CW observed a shotgun, as well as five rounds of ammunition. Tindal then handled the shotgun and demonstrated to the CW how to operate the action. The CW then counted $600 of government money in front of Tindal and handed him the full amount. Tindal and the CW then discussed Tindal's upcoming trip to South Carolina where Tindal planned to retrieve additional firearms and return to Massachusetts with them. Tindal then exited the CW's apartment.
The same informant also helped ATF snare Ventura on the drug charges.
Between March and May, Ventura allegedly sold the informant heroin and fentanyl four times: 5.06 grams of fentanyl-laced heroin on March 18 for $400; 9.1 grams for $725 on March 28; 20.39 grams for $1,400 on April 24; and 9.81 grams for $650 on May 4. On three of the days, Ventura allegedly walked over to Mary Ellen McCormack from his own apartment at Old Colony; once, the informant drove over to Old Colony to make a purchase.
The two agents suggest more arrests could be coming:
To date, under ATF’s direction, the CW has made multiple controlled purchases of firearms and narcotics.
The agents acknowledge the informant has a long criminal record of his or her own, for such crimes as forgery and telecommunications fraud, as well as immigration issues, but say they have found his or her information to be "accurate and often independently corroborated by other evidence," and that the person was able to "identify and become acquainted with
individuals in the development and to gather evidence relative to their drug distribution, illegal firearm possession, and/or acts of violence." They add that, in addition to a salary, the informant has had any action on his or her immigration issues deferred by ICE.
Tindal affidavit (3.5M PDF).
Ventura affidavit (489k PDF).