CBS Boston

Urbelis Law Reaches Settlement with Chelsea Police Officers on Behalf of Client

October 13, 2016

Our client is a 53- year old East Boston man with no prior record. In February of 2016, he was walking home from work in Chelsea. An acquaintance, also Hispanic, drove by and offered our client a ride home. There was one other Hispanic male in the car at the time. Within minutes, the car was pulled over and approached by three Chelsea police officers for failure to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. After the men were ordered out of the car, a search revealed a bag in the closed center console with a substance the officers believed to be heroin (which it was not; read below).  Despite the fact that our client never made any statements, movements, or anything else suggesting his knowledge of, or intent to control, the substance in the center console of the acquaintance’s car, and despite the fact that the police never conducted a preliminary swipe to test whether the substance contained narcotics, all three men were arrested and charged with trafficking heroin.

At the station, despite the fact that our client was cooperative, a search of his clothing revealed no illegal products, and he did nothing to suggest he had any narcotics or other contraband otherwise on him, the police conducted a full strip search of our client where he was subjected to standing completely naked in the station while police searched his private areas. Again, nothing was recovered. Our client was held overnight at the station. He then hired our firm, his bail lowered at court the following morning, and he was released. By then, the case had already hit the newspapers.

Several weeks later, after the substance believed to be heroin was tested by the state laboratory, it turned out that there was no heroin or any other narcotic in the bag; it was a substance found in workout supplements. We were able to have the criminal case dismissed, but by then our client had already undergone significant emotional, psychological, and financial damages (attorneys’ fees for the case) related to all of the unlawful actions of these Chelsea Police officers. He was also threatened in his own community; when people learned that his heroin trafficking case had been dismissed, members of the drug trade suspected him to be a “snitch” who had likely become an informant in exchange for having his major felony case dropped.

In June of 2016, we filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court for money damages, alleging civil rights violations against three Chelsea Police officers.  By October 2016, a settlement was reached and our client was compensated to his satisfaction.

If you believe you are the victim of significant police misconduct, contact our office to discuss your options. You have nothing to lose, because if we determine that you have a valid case worthy of damages and we are hired to represent you, we do not get paid until you do.


Client Reviews
"Ben Urbelis recently represented me in an OUI case in which I had crashed my car. I honestly did not believe I had any chance of beating it, but fortunately for me Ben was outstanding and all charges were dropped. In my first hearing he was calm, assertive and straight to the point. I was extremely impressed and satisfied. I left my hearing feeling confident that I had made the right choice of hiring him. I am positive I would have lost this case and walked away with an OUI if I hadn't. I am very happy with how he handled my case and how reassured I felt having him as my lawyer." MC
"When I found myself charged with my 3rd DUI I was certain without a doubt that I was facing 6 months to 2 1/2 years in state prison. I can’t believe you were able to guide me calmly through the whole nerve wracking process, never sugar coating anything, staying honest and always keeping me informed the whole time. I still can’t believe that in the end you pulled off a miracle to avoidany jail time. I would recommend you to anyone in the same situation. Thank you so much. You saved me.” JL
"I want to personally thank Ben and his wonderful a staff at Urbelis Law for what an outstanding job they did for my son and his friends! Ben went above and beyond for them, with a successful outcome. I would highly recommend Ben to anyone that would need his services, he was wonderful!" Gina
"Huge thank you to not only my friend, but my lawyer,Ben Urbelis..I presented him with a case that at first was a bit tricky on paper... but we worked hard together and got all information we needed to prove i was innocent! He knew from the get go a year ago that he was gonna smash this case, and he did!! Cant thank you enough man! If anyone needs a lawyer, hes your guy... no question" PB
"Thank you for your excellent representation in this matter. Coming from out of town, it wasreassuringto have an attorney who was so well organized and on top of the process. It was very clear that the judge was not only familiar with you, but had a great deal of respect for you in the courtroom. I appreciate all the effort you put into my case, and thank you again for a successful representation!" RC