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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
June 10, 2004

Federal Defendant in Warren Gardens Drug Prosecution Faces Mandatory Minimum Life in Prison Based on New Charges Arising from his Arrest

JUN 10 - Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration; United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Daniel Conley, Suffolk County District Attorney; Kathleen O’Toole, Commissioner of the Boston Police Department; William J. Hoover, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in New England; and Colonel Thomas G. Robbins, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced today that a defendant previously charged with distributing crack cocaine in the area surrounding the Warren Gardens housing development in the Roxbury section of Boston was arraigned today on additional drug and firearm charges.

In the original indictment returned on April 14, 2004, DARREN FRANKLIN, age 27, of 159 Pine Grove Drive, Brockton, Massachusetts and 370 Chestnut West, Randolph, Massachusetts, was charged with three counts of distributing crack cocaine. On May 27, 2004, a federal grand jury returned a Superseding Indictment containing two additional charges arising out of FRANKLIN’s arrest on April 15, 2004. In Count Four, FRANKLIN was charged with possessing with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of crack cocaine and, in Count Five,

FRANKLIN was charged as a felon- in- possession of 438 rounds of live ammunition. Federal law prohibits individuals previously convicted of a state or federal felony from possessing firearms or ammunition. FRANKLIN has been in federal custody since his arrest in April.

Based on his prior criminal record and the quantity of crack cocaine involved, FRANKLIN faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted of the new drug charge. Because of his prior criminal record, FRANKLIN faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years if convicted of the felon- in possession charge. At his arraignment today, FRANKLIN entered pleas of not guilty to all five counts contained in the Superseding Indictment.

In April, 2004, seven federal indictments were unsealed charging a total of sixteen defendants, among them FRANKLIN, with distributing crack cocaine in the Warren Gardens housing development and on nearby Copeland Street, in the Roxbury section of Boston. Also, at the time eight individuals were named in state charges alleging cocaine distribution; six of whom were indicted in Superior Court; one charged by complaint in District Court and one charged by complaint in Juvenile Court.

The original April, 2004 charges against FRANKLIN and the other defendants were the result of an almost year- long investigation conducted by DEA and ATF Special Agents and members of the Boston Police Department’s Youth Violence Strike Force, in conjunction with the U. S. Attorney’s Office and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. The investigation targeted open- air drug markets operating in the Warren Gardens housing development in Roxbury and on nearby Copeland Street. As alleged in the indictment against FRANKLIN, two of the crack cocaine distributions with which FRANKLIN is charged occurred within 1,000 feet of the George A. Lewis School, a public middle school on Walnut Street.

The investigation is continuing. The case is being investigated by members of the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration New England Field Division Task Force which is comprised of law enforcement officers from the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police, the Boston Housing Authority, and the Milton and Boston Police Departments, in concert with the Youth Violence Strike Force of the Boston Police Department, the U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley’s Office. Assistance was provided in connection with Franklin's arrest by the Brockton and Randolph Police Departments and Metro Star. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Patrick Hamilton and David Tobin in Sullivan’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.


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