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Former member of notorious Boston gang arrested on charges he sold guns, cocaine to a federal informant in Dorchester

Herbert "HB" Small, 32, a one-time member of the infamous Columbia Point Dawgs - along with his brothers and father - now faces new federal charges after he allegedly sold guns and crack earlier this year to a buyer who turned out to be working undercover for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Small, who now lives in Norwood, according to court records, already has both federal and state convictions that include a 2017 conviction for conspiracy to distribute heroin, crack and cocaine while a part of the Columbia Point Dawgs, which over 30 years grew from a small gang at the old Columbia Point housing project into a large-scale gun and drug enterprise spanning the East Coast - at least until the feds arrested 48 members, in 2015.

After pleading guilty, Small was sentenced on Aug. 10, 2017 to 37 months in federal prison for his role in the gang. He was released in January, 2019.

But on Feb. 16 of this year, a federal judge sentenced him to two more years after he admitted violating terms of his federal parole, in part by getting arrested on new state firearms charges. However, there is no record in either his federal court docket or in the Bureau of Prisons inmate-lookup service that he ever reported to prison or that the new sentence was withdrawn.

Earlier this year, in fact, ATF began an investigation of Small, according to an affidavit by an ATF agent that was unsealed today.

Agents started by recruiting a "cooperating witness," who has "an extensive criminal history including convictions for robbery and drug distribution" but who has helped the agency make more than 100 buys during investigations, the affidavit states.

On Aug. 16, the affidavit states, the informant called Small and arranged to purchase a gun and crack from him the next day - at a home on Lyndhurst Street in Dorchester.

Although the deal they arranged was for one gun and a quantity of cocaine, when the quick-thinking informant noticed Small actually had two guns, he told him he'd rather buy both guns and reduced the amount of cocaine he'd be buying so he could use the money for the original amount to buy the second gun.

SMALL provided the CW with approximately 25 grams of suspected cocaine; an Iver-Johnson Supershot Sealed 8 .22 caliber revolver, serial number 10398; and a Beretta .40 caliber pistol, serial number TY02920, with a magazine containing eleven .40 caliber rounds of ammunition in exchange for $1,900 in ATF funds.

On Oct. 15, the affidavit continues, the informant called Small to arrange another buy, this time of crack. Small directed him to a Dorchester street, where he got out of his white RAV-4 and got into the informant's car:

Inside the vehicle, SMALL exchanged a bag of suspected cocaine base for $2,150 in ATF funds from the CW. Following the deal, the CW met with agents and provided agents with the suspected cocaine base purchased from SMALL. Investigators weighed the suspected cocaine base and determined it had a weight of approximately 70 grams, including the packaging.

On Oct. 24, Small was formally charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and distribution of crack and cocaine. The first charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years upon conviction; the second a maximum sentence of 20 years. He was scheduled for his initial appearance in US District Court in Boston this afternoon.

Innocent, etc.

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