CPD Cracks Down on Heroin Activities in Central Square

The Cambridge Police Department made 17 arrests for drug-related conduct in Central Square during “Operation Booting Heroin.” Ten of the arrests took place last Thursday and Friday.

The Special Investigation Unit “Operation Booting Heroin” began last summer and has been at work throughout Cambridge to wipe out heroin trafficking in Central Square.

CPD launched the operation in response to a growing threat of the use and distribution of drugs in Central Square. On Tuesday, the CPD announced the success of the program, according to a press release.

There had also been instances of “citizen complaints,” according to the release. In an email, CPD spokesperson Dan M. Riviello described the complaints as calls from residents reporting a perceived increase in drug use, dealing, and “experiences with individuals in public/business restrooms suspected of drug use,” among other things.

Operation Booting Heroin involved three distinct phases, beginning with the surveillance from August through November of 2011 during which time “some arrests [were] made for activity that was witnessed by detectives,” Riviello wrote.

The second phase consisted of gathering further information and “undercover buys”; the final stage of the operation used the gathered evidence to execute arrests, although Riviello also wrote that several outstanding warrants exist for individuals wanted on similar charges.

Deputy Superintendent Paul Ames called “Operation Booting Heroin” a “great success” in the CPD press release.

Ames also said that the CPD hopes that the arrests will improve the quality of life for all people who spend time in Central Square and that it will send the message that “drug use and distribution will not be tolerated, not only in Central Square, but throughout Cambridge.”

—Staff writer Amy Q. Friedman can be reached at