SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 1, 2014

Woman charged with selling crack to cop

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — The office manager for a Dorchester community activist group has been charged with selling $500 worth of crack cocaine to an undercover police officer Monday evening.

Katrina “Tree” Allison, 39, of Roxbury allegedly told an informant that she wouldn’t travel to Beverly to sell anything less than that amount of drugs, before agreeing to meet him and what turned out to be an undercover Beverly police detective at an apartment complex across from Briscoe Middle School Monday night.

The informant told police on Monday that he knew a woman called “Tree” who had been selling large quantities of cocaine on the North Shore.

According to a police report by Beverly police Detective Dana Nicholson, he and the informant met the woman’s car as it pulled into the lot at 20 Sohier Road. Nicholson subsequently was handed a bag containing 18 smaller “twists,” which are the bottom corners of plastic sandwich bags cut off and then filled with a small amount of crack cocaine. The total weight of the cocaine was about 4 grams, but in that form, it was worth $500, police say.

During Allison’s arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court on charges of cocaine distribution and drug distribution in a school zone, prosecutor Michael Varone asked for $50,000 bail, pointing to what appears to be a 16-page criminal record and 19 aliases.

Her attorney, Loring Lincoln, said his client’s record has been mixed in with that of a cousin, pointing to entries for arrests that would have occurred when Allison was 8.

Lincoln also cited Allison’s job as an office manager at Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, saying that job shows she is not a flight risk.

According to the organization’s website and news accounts, the group works on a variety of issues in the communities of Dorchester and Roxbury, including crime prevention, as well as transportation, housing and health care issues.

Phone and email messages left for the organization yesterday were not returned.

Judge Matthew Machera set bail at $5,000 for Allison, a mother of five, yesterday. It was not clear whether she would be able to make that amount of bail. Her attorney said the most she could have posted immediately was $1,000.

Allison pleaded not guilty to the two charges.

A pretrial hearing is set for Jan. 27.

In 1989, when Allison was 14, she was accidentally shot in the leg while hanging around with friends on a playground inside the Franklin Hill housing project in Dorchester, according to news accounts of the incident. Allison was not the intended target of the bullet. During her recovery, she was visited by and posed for photos with then-mayor Ray Flynn.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.