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What, she wondered, was this box doing on her front steps?

The woman of the house on a small street near Walsh Park in Dorchester’s Lower Mills neighborhood, the widowed mother of two young men, was down in the basement doing laundry chores one morning last week when she heard the mailman on the front porch. She came upstairs and while gathering up the mail she looked out the window and saw a large box on the steps.

Given her back problems, she knew she shouldn’t even think about picking up the package, but she nonetheless went out to check the addresses on the package and as she did so, she heard a vehicle pull up on the street behind her.

Let’s let her pick up the story from here:

“It was beige-colored jeep type vehicle and a young lady with a police badge around her neck jumped out and began firing questions at me. ‘Did the package belong to me? Did I live in this house? Who else lived there?’

There were two gentlemen behind her who were also wearing badges and the three of them ushered me inside, leaving the box on the steps.

“Once inside they asked if I was accepting a delivery for someone else. They asked about my children, how old they were, and stated that they both would have to be interviewed. I explained that one of my sons was developmentally delayed, and would be of no use to them. They pressed and said that he could have accepted the package for someone else. I told them that he was incapable of that.

“Then they asked about my younger son, who is less than a year out of college and had just started a job in November, and said that he needed to come home to answer their questions. If not, they would go to his workplace to interview him. I said that the last thing that he would need would be to have two men and a woman with police badges showing up to interview him at work.

“They asked me to send him a message, but not to give any information, just tell him to call home. The officer asked that when my son called back, I should give the phone to him. The three officers remained in my house, one in the kitchen questioning me, two in my foyer and living room with walkie talkies; other officers were staked out in cars outside, checking all the cars coming up the street. They asked for the make, color, and year of my son’s car. They asked if he took drugs. They seemed to suggest that he could have allowed a friend to deliver the package to our home in return for some cash. Then, when my son arrived home, I was asked to leave while they questioned him.

“In conversation with the officers, I learned that the box contained more than 40 pounds of marijuana, that a similar package had been delivered to a neighbor a few doors down my street, and a third left at a house a few blocks away. All three packages contained marijuana and had been sent carrying the same name and address in Arizona, but with phony names for the Dorchester addresses. “Finally, the officer who had spoken with me in the kitchen came down to the basement and said they were leaving and when I went back upstairs, the officers, the big box that started it all, and their vehicles were gone, and my son had gone back to work. I called my local community service police officer and he said he knew nothing about the proceedings at my home and in my neighborhood that morning. Then I went back down to finish my laundry.”