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Complaints to police, mayor's office prompted surveillance at restaurant

By Don Conkey
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jul 18, 2008 @ 04:37 AM
Last update Jul 18, 2008 @ 07:36 AM

A large number of tips to police led to the arrest of a Quincy man on drug-dealing charges.
At about 10 p.m. July 10, Nicholas Pappadopoulos, 18, an employee at the Papa Gino's restaurant at 1 Beale St., walked over to a car at the restaurant and sold marijuana to Matthew Im, 17, of Boston, who was sitting in the passenger seat, police Detective Lt. Patrick Glynn said.
The restaurant had been under surveillance because of the many calls residents had made to police and the office of Mayor Thomas Koch, Glynn said.
"Through the month of June, the drug unit received complaints about street-level drug activity in Wollaston, specifically one employee at Papa Gino's," Glynn said.
In addition, "there were multiple complaints (from residents) coming in, through the mayor's office," he said.
It was a classic case of average citizens making an above-average difference, police said.
After officers stopped the car Im was in - it was going west on Beale Street - they recovered three bags of marijuana, Glynn said.
They then went back to Papa Gino's and arrested Pappadopoulos.
Glynn said Pappadopoulos, of 90 Safford St., was charged with possession of a Class D substance (marijuana) with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate controlled-substance laws.
He was arraigned in Quincy District Court and ordered held on $350 cash or $3,500 surety, according to the court clerk's office. He was released on bail and is due back in court on Aug. 19 for a pretrial conference.
Im was charged with possession of a Class D substance (marijuana) and conspiracy to violate controlled-substance laws, Glynn said.
A 16-year-old boy who was driving the car was also arrested and charged with having a forged Registry document, Quincy police Capt. John Dougan said.
Nick Njugunn, manager of the Papa Gino's restaurant, said Pappadopoulos was fired last Friday, the day after the incident.
Njugunn said he had not been aware of the police surveillance. He also expressed relief that the surveillance was successful.
"You would not want it (drug activity) where you work," he said.
There have been no other arrests, "but this should quell it - drug sales from that area, from that individual," Glynn said. "It is a case where communication was key. There were no kinks to the system. It all flowed."
Police Chief Paul Keenan said the arrests show that people can help keep their own neighborhoods crime-free.
"It is a quality-of-life issue. Drugs in a neighborhood affect people's quality of life," Keenan said.
"This was a great collaborative effort," the chief said.
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