DA: 10 arrested on drug charges, creating ‘problem property’ in East Boston housing development

BOSTON — A six-month-long investigation culminated in the arrests of ten people accused of an “outsized share of crime” in an East Boston housing complex, according to authorities.

Dubbed “Operation Clean House,” the Suffolk Country District Attorney’s Office says over 100 grams of cocaine, over 60 grams of fentanyl, and $2,610 in cash were seized in a May 7 search warrant of apartments in a Maverick Landing housing development building at 44 Border Street. Police sought four suspects in three apartments contained inside the Border Street property.

The building was allegedly responsible for 52 drug-related police interactions between January 2023 and April 2024.

Ten people are facing charges, including:

  • Youssef Benelmir, 50, on outstanding warrants.
  • Kerry Bell, 47, charged with trafficking Class B substance over 70 grams.
  • Edwin Pagan, 47, charged with possession of a Class A substance with intent to distribute.
  • Reinaldo Diaz, 45, charged with possession of a Class A substance with intent to distribute and being a fugitive from justice for a pending case in Rhode Island.
  • Samuel Junta, 43, charged with trafficking a Class B substance over 70 grams.
  • Edwin Ceballo-Hernandez, 36, charged with trafficking a Class A substance and a Class B substance.
  • Christina Dionizio, 30, on an outstanding warrant.
  • Victoria Herrera, 30, charged with trespassing.
  • Amin Roundil, 30, charged with trespassing.
  • Youssef Benarba, 30, on outstanding warrants.

“Just as a small number of individuals can drive an outsized share of crime, a single problem property can have an outsized impact on the entire community’s quality of life,” Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said. “This is one of those properties, primarily due to just a few out-of-control apartments.”

Hayden says the property will continue to be monitored and trespassers and other violators will face arrest and prosecution.

“The actions of the few will be responsibly addressed when they impact the well-being of the many,” he said.

Several of the suspects were arraigned this week and received “a variety of bail amounts and release conditions,” according to law enforcement officials.

Reinaldo Diaz was ordered held without bail due to his fugitive from justice charge.

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