Informant In Botched Drug Raid Was Previously Found Unreliable
BOSTON - A botched drug raid that left a 75-year-old minister dead was based on tips from a paid informant whom police rejected two months earlier as unreliable, according to published reports yesterday.
The informant told detectives they would find four heavily armed drug dealers and a kilo of cocaine in a second-floor apartment in the city's Dorchester section.
But when a SWAT team burst into the apartment March 25, they encountered only a frail retired minister, the Rev. Accelyne Williams.
Officers chased Williams into a bedroom and handcuffed him. Williams collapsed during the struggle and died of heart failure.
The same informant, who police identified only as a man in his late teens or early 20s, had previously lied to police about his own role in a 1991 shooting, the Boston Herald and Boston Globe reported yesterday.
Police also rejected the informant as undependable in January when he offered information about alleged sales of 9mm Glocks, a popular street weapon, the newspapers said.
But when Detective Lisa Lehane applied for a search warrant in the Dorchester drug raid, she called the informant "reliable" and cited three instances in 1991 and 1993 when he provided information that led to the arrests of drug suspects.
Court records show that drug-control detectives have worked with the informant since 1990 and that he supplied intelligence leading to at least five arrests.
That relationship continued even after the informant pinned the blame on someone else for shooting at two police officers in 1991, the Globe reported. In fact, the informant himself eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in the shooting.
Police officials had no immediate comment on the newspaper reports.
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