In May 2013, seven Muslim “chemical engineers” were caught trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir, a key supply of water for Boston, after midnight. Police stepped up patrols. The seven people who were apprehended “cited their education and career interests” as their reason for being there. So it was a field trip, you see. A routine after-midnight field trip. What’s the big deal? As far as the public knew, it was just a trespassing case, nothing more to see here.
But now, months later, and only indirectly, we hear that it is a “criminal matter.” Will further details be forthcoming? Don’t count on it. Such information might reflect poorly on the Boston-area Muslim community, and their good image is paramount.
The Office of Chief Legal Counsel for the Massachusetts State Police should release all information on this case immediately. Call them and ask them, politely and respectfully, to do so: (508) 820-2311.
The seven individuals apprehended for trespassingat the Quabbin Water Reserve in Belchertown, Massachusetts, just after midnight May 14, 2013 are part of an “on-going criminal matter,” according to the Massachusetts State Police.
In response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request for names, addresses, court dates, and charges filed against the seven individuals, the Office of Chief Legal Council [sic] for the Massachusetts State Police cited several state statutes exempting the release of information requested.
“Please be advised G.L. c. 4, XXSSXX 7 cl. 26(a) exempts from public disclosure any records that are “specifically or by necessary implication exempted from disclosure by statute.” In this instance, your request falls within this exemption since releasing the requested information would violate”¦ the Criminal Offender Record Information (“CORI”) statute.”
The letter comes more than 3 months following an incident whereby 5 men and 2 women were apprehended for trespassing at the largest drinking water supply for the greater Boston area in the middle of the night. The 7 individuals of Singaporean, Pakistani, and Saudi Arabian decent claimed to be chemical engineering students, according to local news reports. No other information has been made public about the identities of the individuals involved.
The response letter revealed ties to a larger criminal investigation.
“”¦according to information provided to this office, this incident remains the subject of an on-going criminal matter.”
The Massachusetts State Police recently shared publicly their discontent with a Clerk Magistrate”s decision not to proceed with the criminal investigation of the seven individuals.