Monday, March 18, 2013
Ortiz makes announcement regarding appeal of judge's ruling.
The saga of Russ Caswell and the Federal Government has finally reached a conclusion. Last week, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz announced that she would not appeal a Federal Judge's ruling in January, denying the government's claim for seizing the Motel Caswell because of what it claimed was an ongoing pattern of drug activity. Federal prosecutors had argued that Caswell, who lives next door to the motel, must have kn own about the drug activity going on at his business and did nothing to stop it. Lawyers for the Institute for Justice, which took the case pro bono, argued that the government and Tewksbury Police had conspired to try and seize the property, then sell it off and split the proceeds.
Monday, March 4, 2013
Traffic stop for failing to signal leads to drug bust.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Traffic stop leads to drugs arrests.
Two people, including an Oakland, Calif. man, were arrested on Wednesday after allegedly conducting a drug deal involving six pounds of marijuana at a local motel. Chandy Yern, 33, 36 Grove St., Lowell, is charged with Possession with the intent to distribute a Class D substance (marijuana), Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Law, Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License and Failure to Signal. Rith Hov, 40, 1332 E 26th Street Oakland, Calif., is charged with Distributing a Class D substance (marijuana) and Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Law. According to information provided by the Tewksbury Police Department, the incident began on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at around 11 p.m., when an officer saw a vehicle leave the parking lot of the …
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
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 Tewksbury motel was not subject to forfeiture, as argued by Ortiz' office. "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 …
Friday, January 25, 2013
Judge rules that motel is not subject to forfeiture.
The Motel Caswell is remaining under the ownership of the Caswell family for the forseeable future. On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein ruled that the Tewksbury motel was not subject to forfeiture, as argued by Federal law enforcement officials. In her 59-page ruling dismissing the forfeiture action, Dein stated, 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." The U.S. Attorney's Office first took action to seize the Motel Caswell back in September 2009, claiming it had long been a hotspot for srime in Tewksbury, particularly drug activity. Government …
Friday, November 9, 2012
Federal forfeiture case now rests in the hands of the judge.
The fate of the Motel Caswell now rests in the hands of U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein. Testimony and closing arguments concluded Thursday in the motel's drug forfeiture trial in Federal District Court in Boston. Dein has taken the case under advisement but it may be some time before she renders a decision. She has given both sides in the case an additional three weeks to submit written briefs, according to an article published in the Lowell Sun. This means it will likely be mid-December, at the earliest, before a verdict is handed down. Attorneys from the Institute for Justice, which is representing Motel Caswell owner Russ Caswell pro bono, had asked Dein to issue a directed verdict in the case after the prosecution rested on …
Four women arrested in coordinated effort.
Four women were scheduled to be arraigned in Lowell District Court today (Nov. 9) on prostitution charges, after being arrested by Tewksbury Police at two local motels on Thursday. The women, three of whom list their home addresses as out of state, were arrested as part of a coordinated operation by the Tewskbury Police Department. Three were arrested at the Motel 6 and one more at the Motel Caswell. Daiane Gabriel, 25, of 31 Niagara St Apt 4 Newark, NJ was arrested at the Motel 6 and charged with sexual conduct for a fee along with being in possession of pepper spray without a permit. Gabriel is also wanted out of Texas and is due to be deported according to Department of Immigration and Customs (ICE). Shu Yaun Zhang, 46, of 14011 Ash …
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Tewksbury Police officers say they didn't trust Russ Caswell and admit they never met with him to discuss ways to improve safety and security at the motel.
Testimony started this week in U.S. District Court in the forfeiture trial targeting Tewksbury's Motel Caswell. Federal prosecutors, citing a series of 15 drug arrests and investigations at the motel between 1994 and 2008, have accused motel owner Russ Caswell of failing to take reasonable to action to stop the drug activity and have asked a judge to order that the $1.3 million property be forfeited. Testifying so far this week have been Tewksbury Police Lt. Dennis Peterson and Lt. Thomas Casey. Peterson testified that he would notify the desk clerk if an arrest was made on motel property but he admitted he had no evidence that Russ Caswell knew of any illegal activity before an arrest was made, according to an article appearing in the …
Monday, November 5, 2012
Prosecutors are asking to be allowed to seize the property due to a history of criminal activity by motel guests.
Russ Caswell wanted his day in court -- today he gets it. The owner of the Motel Caswell and his attorney's are in U.S. District Court in Boston today, trying to stop the Department of Justice from seizing the motel and the property it sits on. Federal prosecutors are basing their claim for seizure based on eight drug arrests that occurred at the motel between 2001 and 2008 and more than 100 narcotics investigations involving the motel dating back to 1994, according to an Associated Press article published in the Boston Herald. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office called it "an important case" for Tewksbury and as a reminder to other motel and hotel owners that they are responsible for taking whatever actions they can to prevent …
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Disgraced chemist processed evidence on nine cases related to the Tewksbury motel.
The Federal Government's case against Russ Caswell has taken a hit with revelations that a disgraced chemist working at the State Crime Lab may have tainted evidence in several cases related to the Motel Caswell. A trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 5 in U.S. District Court, in which Federal Prosecutors will attempt to prove that the Motel Caswell, located on Route 38 in Tewksbury, is subject to federal forfeiture laws because of a pattern of drug related offenses committed on the motel property over several years. Prosecutors were prepared to cite 28 cases, dating as far back as 1994, according to an article published in the Lowell Sun. However, that number has now been trimmed to 19. According to Sun article, Assistant U.S. Attorney …