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Caswell May Not Be Out Of The Legal Woods Quite Yet

U.S. Attorney has not ruled out the possibility of appealing court ruling.

Any thoughts Motel Caswell owner Russ Caswell had that he had seen the last of Federal Law Enforcement appear to be a bit premature.

According to an article published on Bostonherald.com, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz is considering appealing the decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein, who ruled that the

"I don't put anything past them," said Caswell. "As I said before, it's like they don't have anything better to do."

Starting in 2009, the Department of Justice had attempted to seize the Motel Caswell and the property it sits on, arguing that there had been a long history of illegal activity at the motel, including drugs and prostitution, which Caswell knew about and did nothing to stop.

Caswell was represented by lawyers from the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based law firm specializing in property seizure cases. They accused the government of a "land grab" and said there is no way Caswell can know what every one of his guests is doing every day.

Dein's ruling read, in part:

"After careful consideration of the evidence, pleadings, and argument of counsel, this Court concludes that the Government has failed to meet its burden of establishing that the Motel is subject to forfeiture."

Caswell said the judge's ruling gave him a great sense of relief.

"No doubt about it. It's been a long time coming," he said. "I just wanted to get my side of the story out."

Caswell said his story serves as a cautionary tale for other private property owners. He said no one is safe from the government attempting the same thing again.

"It could happen to anyone," said Caswell. "It's like there's no accountability. They just pull this crap."

Caswell said he intends to retain ownership of the motel, at least for the time being. He also said he would welcome a chance to sit down with Police Chief Timothy Sheehan or other members of the department to discuss ways to improve safety at the motel.

Steevo January 29, 2013 at 12:42 PM
The US attorney in this case, Carmen Ortiz is already under scrutiny for her other recent case prosecuting Aaron Swartz, who ended up killing himself earlier this month as a result of the pressure. There has been a lot of writing detailing and questioning her methods and it is not pretty. As the Christian Science Monitor wrote a couple days ago: "The two cases are feeding a simmering groundswell among constitutional law professors and others about the inherent discretionary powers of federal prosecutors, especially in an era of books like attorney Harvey Silverglate’s 'Three Felonies a Day: How the feds target the innocent.'”
Shaun January 29, 2013 at 02:53 PM
How long would they have to appeal?
Dirk Anderson January 29, 2013 at 06:11 PM
The place is a cesspool and an eyesore and if it was gone I'm betting all of our property values would go up. That said, seizure is a joke. Motel 666 is just as bad but I haven't seen the Feds go after them. Why, because a big chain will have a legal team. It was an overreach to begin with, you lost, go away.
Alex Chulinsky January 29, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Petition the Obama administration to: Remove United States District Attorney Carmen Ortiz https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-united-states-district-attorney-carmen-ortiz-office-overreach-case-aaron-swartz/RQNrG1Ck
Ang Tierno January 29, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Caswell does suck. But their going after them again because they are the little guy. I don't see anyone going after Motel 6 or Home Depot. Why?? Because the are big companies. More drugs and sex for money are done in their parking lot than the Caswell from what I read. Gives Tewksbury a bad name...
john smith January 29, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Drug labs were not found at the Motel 6 or Home Depot. Neither location has had a 60 year history of this type of activity yet like the Caswell. You can't close a parking lot so that argument does not make any sense. Drug busts happen everywhere but Meth labs and prostitution does not. Rooms by the hour, nothing good has ever been associated with the Caswell. I do not support the family losing their property, but I am all for that dump and gathering place of crime closing.
ANGELO RIXXO January 29, 2013 at 09:21 PM
I THINK IF THE CASWELL WANTS TO KEEP HIS BAD REPUTATION IN THE TOWN, THEN HE SHOULD KEEP UP THE WAY HE HAS BEEN. IF HE WANTS BETTER NOISE FROM THE COMMUNITY, THEM HE SHOULD NOT RENT ROOMS BY THE HOURS, CLEAN UP THE PLACE, REDO THE OUTSIDE, RAISE THE RATES SO THE TRASH FROM LOWELL DOESN'T COME HERE, AND GET FRIENDLY WITH THE TOWN PEOPLE. A LITTLE FACE LIFT CAN GO ALONG WAY. DRUG DEALS HAPPEN ALL OVER THIS TOWN, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NAME OF A PLACE. SOMEONE GOT ARRESTED AT MARKET BASKET THE OTHER DAY, THE ONE AT OAKDALE FOR DRUGS, NO ONE IS SAYING SHUT IT DOWN.. MY POINT IS THAT IT HAPPENS EVERYWHERE, BUT YOU CAN DO THINGS TO DETER IT. CASWELL DESERVES TO RUN HIS BUSINESS, HE SHOULD JUST SMARTEN UP ABOUT IT. CLEAN UP HIS ESTABLISHMENT!
Honest Joe January 30, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Angelo, if you had read the above article, then you should have known that Mr. Caswel is trying. He said he would welcome a chance to sit down with Police Chief Timothy Sheehan or other members of the department to discuss ways to improve safety at the motel. Give him a chance. Hopefully the TPD will be receptive and work with him.
Steve McMahan January 30, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Settle down with the CAPS LOCK bro. Hopefully that despicable motel will soon be razed.
billvill January 30, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Huge waste of public funds to chase this red herring....again. Not sure what the answer is to cleaning up this eyesore, but throwing public money at it sure isn't it.
wally w February 07, 2013 at 03:25 PM
What a bunch of bigotts , your in Tewksbury, Somerville with trees ! The majority of people at the Caswell are section 8 welfare trash that the state pays to be there. Thank your govenor for having one of the biggest welfare states in the country.
wally w February 07, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Where's the mess, I see an older neatly kept place . There are just as many problems at the other hotels in town but the police wants you to know everything that happens at the Caswell to reinforce their weak case against it .

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