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Teen brothers lived in cell phone store — but that’s not what they were selling, Mass. cops say

Two brothers were living in Five Star Wireless, which appeared to be a cell phone repair shop in Norwood, Massachusetts, but was really a front where the teens kept heroin and heroin they sold.
Two brothers were living in Five Star Wireless, which appeared to be a cell phone repair shop in Norwood, Massachusetts, but was really a front where the teens kept heroin and heroin they sold. Norwood police

From the outside, Five Star Wireless looked like any cell phone shop.

Hours were listed on the door of the storefront in downtown Norwood, Massachusetts. Posters advertised Xfinity home internet and Ultra Flex Family $12.50 prepaid phone plans. And in window paint, the shop said it would fix iPhones, sell unlocked phones and even offer layaway, photos show.

But none of those services or deals were actually on offer, according to police.

The shop was actually a front that two brothers — 16 and 17 — used to store and sell illegal drugs, police said in a Facebook post. The siblings, who were living in the back of the shop, were arrested on Thursday.

One brother faces seven drug-distribution charges, and the other faces a charge of heroin possession with the intent to distribute, police said.

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Police did surveillance on the store during a two-month investigation and saw that it was “not doing any business repairing wireless phones,” police said.

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Both suspects were arrested on Thursday. Norwood police

“It’s been our theory all along that these guys are living in the basement, which they’re not supposed to be,” said William Brooks III, Norwood’s police chief, in a video posted by Norwood Community Media.

During the investigation, undercover officers bought cocaine from the older brother three times and heroin four times — and then arrested him Thursday after making the latest purchase in downtown Norwood, according to police.

After that, state police and detectives raided the cell phone store and discovered more drugs (and the younger brother) inside, according to police.

“Although they’re carrying identification, we don’t really know what their true identities are yet — we’ll learn that from their fingerprints,” Brooks said in the Norwood Community Media video as the brothers were being booked, adding that the pair is set to be arraigned on Friday.

Because the suspects are juveniles, their mugshots and names haven’t been released, Boston 25 reports. Police said they are still looking into the teens’ living situation in the store.

In a statement to McClatchy, police said they have heard that “a person who may be related to them rented the shop, then left and the two juveniles moved in.”

More than half a million people died between 2000 and 2015 from opioid use. In 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the national opioid crisis a public health emergency. We examine what happens to the human body on opioids.

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