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Antique Document, Guns, Rugs Seized In Drug Raids

March 9, 1985

BOSTON (AP) _ The first page of the 355-year-old Massachusetts Bay Charter, stolen last summer from the state archives, was among antique guns, oriental rugs, cash and drugs seized in a series of raids in the Boston area.

The charter page, a piece of sheepskin about 21/2 feet wide and 2 feet long, was stolen Aug. 8 from a case in the State Archives Museum. It was recovered Thursday from a closet in a Dorchester apartment littered with garbage and animal droppings, police said.

State Archivist Albert H. Witaker Jr. said the page of the document that led to the formation of a self-governing commonwealth of Massachusetts had no signs of damage.

Thirty-three people were arrested during a five-hour sweep Friday in Boston and a Dorchester woman was arrested at the apartment where the historic document was found Thursday night, authorities said.

The raids stemmed from an investigation into thefts of drugs from pharmacies in New Hampshire and Vermont and a Maine community hospital during January and February, said Norfolk District Attorney William D. Delahunt.

Also found in the apartment, according to Delahunt, were a large quantity of narcotics, 17 oriental rugs of various sizes and patterns and a total of 27 antique firearms.

Police also confiscated heroin, pills and marijuana, five handguns, two shotguns, several thousand dollars in cash and a quantity of stolen items in the raids in the Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury sections of Boston, said police spokesman Tom Santry.

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