US Marijuana Party

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Newton drug bust puzzling: Authorities say little about raid involving federal immigration officials

By Gordon Fraser
Eagle Tribune, MA

NEWTON — Federal and local authorities are keeping quiet about a daytime drug bust Saturday by Department of Homeland Security agents on Puzzle Lane, off of Route 108.

A state trooper and witnesses, confirmed that agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the primary investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security — conducted the operation.

But federal officials would not reveal details of the operation, including what was found and who was involved.

Newton police Chief Lawrence Streeter has said in several interviews conducted since Tuesday that he knows nothing about a federal drug bust in town. But a neighbor who claims he saw the raid said he called the Newton police as the operation was going on and a Newton officer said the department was aware of it.

Joseph Amidio said he was working Saturday in his backyard at 6 Pleasant Crossing — a road running parallel to Puzzle Lane — when at least four unmarked cars pulled onto his road and two men in camouflage and bulletproof vests ran through his yard. They were carrying walkie-talkies, Amidio said, but he did not know if they had firearms.

When Amidio, a computer technician, confronted another agent, who was blocking Amidio's driveway, the agent identified himself as a member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and said Amidio was in no danger. The agent did not present any identification, Amidio said.

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