EGLESTON SQ.—Three businesses in two Washington Street storefronts were shut down by police and City inspectors on Oct. 3 in raids that the local police commander says will help “clean up that area.”
But the board of Egleston Square Main Streets (ESMS) blasted the City for seeking media coverage of the raids, saying the move “cast a pall over the district.”
The raids targeted DC Home Supplies and Super Mario, which share space at 3115 Washington St., and Lluvia’s Dollar Store at 3122 Washington.
Super Mario has a history of police raids. In 2008, it was among several businesses targeted by a massive federal and state bust of an alleged gambling ring. In 2010, it was raided for allegedly selling fake designer goods.
In the Oct. 3 raid and a previous police bust on Oct. 1, DC and Super Mario—both owned by Daniel Cabral, according to City inspectors—were hit with a variety of charges and tickets. The businesses allegedly sold “crack pipes,” pirated DVDs and individual cigarettes to an undercover inspector pretending to be a minor, according to Darryl Smith, assistant commissioner of the Inspectional Services Department (ISD), and Boston Police Capt. Paul Russell, commander of the local E-13 Police Station.
The store was shut down for allegedly selling packaged food without a health permit, according to Smith. The Boston Fire Department also issued various safety citations, according to ISD.
At Lluvia’s, two Boston men were arrested on illegal gambling charges. Those charges related to the Dominican lottery, a popular basis for illegal gambling in the U.S., Smith said.
Egleston Square remains one of Jamaica Plain’s crime hotspots. Russell told the Gazette that the raids are part of an ongoing effort to target issues revolving around drug-dealing and quality of life issues.
“We’re watching all of Egleston Square” and are “working with residents to clean up that area,” he said.
In a letter sent to the Gazette by ESMS Executive Director Betsy Cowan, the ESMS board blasted the City for actively sending information about the raids to various media outlets. The Gazette was among those media outlets. The negative publicity lacked the context of more than 80 other Egleston Square businesses that appear to be operating properly, the board said.
“In light of their actions, we invite the City to share its data on the successes in Egleston Square with the media, just as [it] leaked news of the impending citations and closures,” the board letter said. “Their actions cast a pall over the district, discouraged shoppers from patronizing merchants for the rest of the day, and contributed to a negative perception disproportionate to Egelston Square’s true state.”