Police go on 10-week drug crackdown

Police go on 10-week drug crackdown

A map shows the addresses where Pawtucket police conducted raids over the past 10 weeks.

PAWTUCKET – During the past 10 weeks, the Pawtucket Police Special Squad has initiated 17 raids at local properties. Officers have arrested 36 people over that span as they try to address drug and gun violence heading into the warmer months.

On average, 30 raids are done in a typical year. Last year, the department made 266 total arrests for drugs and narcotics.

A total of 62 warrants were completed over the past 10 weeks. Police have seized $11,284 in cash so far in 2017.

“In response to last year’s spike in violence, the department stepped up our efforts to combat drug activity, where much of the other crimes are stemming from,” said Chief of Police Paul King. “We hope that this strategy will reduce violence going into spring and throughout the summer.”

King thanked residents for reporting illegal activities, and asked them to continue doing so.

The Pawtucket Police Department’s Special Squad also works with the Rhode Island High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, which involves local police forces working with the state police and each other to combat drug trafficking across municipalities. Through their work with the task force, they also executed raids in Central Falls, East Greenwich, Coventry and Providence.

According to the Pawtucket Police Department, raids have taken place at 244 Cottage St., 724 Central Ave., 62 Columbus Ave., 560 Prospect St., 94 Harris St., 84 Harris St., 90 John St., 718 Roosevelt Ave., 145 East St., 28 Jefferson Ave., 827 Main St., 30 Star St., 113 Mineral Spring Ave., 396 Mineral Spring Ave., 10 Nickerson St., as well as 517 High St., in Central Falls.

Seventeen people were arrested in the Nickerson Street raid on Feb. 28. Drugs found included heroin, cocaine, and Oxycodone, police said.

“Our community continues to put resources on the ground in our neighborhoods to protect the residents’ quality of life,” said Mayor Donald Grebien. “I applaud the police department for their work and focus to proactively combat these types of illegal operations. We continue to see changes in criminal activities; zeroing in on drug operations is one way that we are trying to combat crime and violence.”

Lauren Greene, spokeswoman for Grebien, said the raids have been effective in making Pawtucket’s neighborhoods safer, as many criminals have been taken off the streets.

About six of the raids in the past 10 weeks involved marijuana, police said.

A picture of some of the items seized in a John Street drug raid.