Man convicted of distributing crack cocaine out of vacant Mattapan apartment

Joel "Ninety" Clay, 25, got a 15-to-17-year prison term for running a crack-distribution operation out of a vacant Sturbridge Street apartment, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office says.

Clay was convicted and sentenced last week on charges of trafficking in more than 200 grams of a Class B substance, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition, according to the DA's office. He was acquitted on similar charges related to drugs and weapons found at a Florida Street apartment.

Prosecutors charged Clay kept a loaded gun with him to protect his stash at 43 Sturbridge St. where he used three laptops and four cell phones to coordinate sales.

Prosecutors say that when Boston Police officers moved in to arrest Clay, he smashed a window and threw the gun out - unfortunately for him, it landed on a police cruiser.

"This was a case of guns and drugs," District Attorney Dan Conley said. "It was a case of a man who put lives and safety at risk by running a drug operation and keeping a loaded, unregistered handgun to protect that operation – all inside a residential building."

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