Weapons seized in the sweep. (Carl Stevens/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling announced Thursday morning that 29 people are now behind bars after a large drug and weapons sweep that took place in Boston and Brockton.
The sweeps, the culmination of two separate federal investigations known as Operations Landshark in Brockton and Operation Nor'easter in Boston, were part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhood Initiative.
Two of the 29 charged are still at large, and two were already in custody. Each have prior convictions.
Press release concerning operations Landshark and Nor'easter from the US attorney for Massachusetts office. pic.twitter.com/C0OCEa3C4Q— Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) August 23, 2018
"The people arrested today were repeat offenders with extensive criminal histories, including convictions or open cases for assault and battery with intent to murder, manslaughter, firearm possession, home invasion, armed robbery, and drug trafficking, just to name a few," Lelling said. "These are the individuals on the streets in Brockton and Boston that, over time, police intelligence has shown, they're the ones causing the most harm in their communities."
One of those netted in the sweep works for the City of Boston. Gary Webster was hired by the Boston Planning & Development Agency as a project manager in 2017, and is now on administrative leave, according to a statement from the BPDA.
"The Boston Planning & Development Agency holds every employee to the highest of standards and these allegations are deeply troubling," their statement read. "We have placed the individual on unpaid administrative leave and will determine next steps."
Webster was also the Director of Constituent Services for Councilor Michelle Wu. Wu told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens that Webster hasn't worked for her in over a year.
Another man charged in the sweep was Tyrell Walker, 63, who shot and killed Boston Police Officer John Schroeder in 1973.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Detective Schroeder was killed when he surprised three men who were robbing a pawn shop.
Fifteen guns were seized in the operation, as well as unspecified amounts of cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl that was either seized or purchased by undercover officers in controlled buys.
"See what you have before you today--the guns, and the drugs," Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said. "That's what's destroying our neighborhoods."
Gross said that, today, Boston is a safer place.
"We will work diligently to continue to remove guns and drugs off the streets," he said. "And it sends a message to those dealing guns and drugs as well: We're coming after you, no matter how long it takes. One homicide is too many."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports