Watchdog New England’s Kurkjian and Tarantino Talk Gun Trafficking on the Callie Crossley Show

Despite Massachusetts’ tough gun laws, the state has seen a spike in homicide rates, an influx of weapons that wind up in the hands of criminals, high numbers of weapons seizures each year and a daily reality of street violence for many of the state’s communities. Steve Kurkjian, senior investigative fellow for Watchdog New England, and reporting co-op Pat Tarantino sat down with WGBH’s Callie Crossley to discuss their recent story for the Dorchester Reporter on illegal gun trafficking and the loopholes in current gun laws.

Listen to the interview here.

Globe Reporter Patricia Wen on FOIA’s, Interviews and Uncovering the Next Big Story

By Jesse Nankin-

The Boston Globe’s Patricia Wen recently completed a three-part series on the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program titled, “The Other Welfare,” bringing to light controversial aspects about this system that serves indigent, disabled children. Watchdog New England sat down with Wen to find out how this talented journalist uncovered and reported the story, the stumbling blocks she faced and just how she convinced SSI recipients to speak so openly on the record.

Wen has been a Globe reporter for nearly 25 years, covering a wide range of topics, including the Boston Public School system, health and science, and more recently children, family and social service issues. Wen served on the Globe’s Spotlight Team, the paper’s investigative unit, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing. In 2004, she won a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for distinguished coverage of children and family issues. Prior to joining the Globe, Wen reported for the Star-Ledger, in Newark, N.J., and the Stamford Advocate, in Connecticut.

Listen to the interview here.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Feds, Boston cops team up to get illegal guns off streets: Tiny but potent Taurus pistols key focus of search

By STEPHEN KURKJIAN and PAT TARANTINO, Special to the Reporter-

Handgun: Taurus describes its PT145 model this way: “Light, powerful and technically advanced, the Millennium PRO is the choice for concealment and back-up carry.”

As the city struggles to contain a dramatic spike in gun violence, 18 handguns bought through an illegal straw purchase in Georgia in 2009 are believed to have wound up on the streets of Boston. So far two of the 18 handguns have been recovered by Boston Police officers, but, according to investigators the others are believed to be hidden here.

The handguns, all Taurus pistols and revolvers are preferred by gangbangers and street criminals because their deadly-powerful punch and their small size make it very easy to conceal.

The guns were bought, law enforcement officials say, over a two-month period in 2009 by two men whose criminal records prevented them from making the purchases personally; instead, they paid “straws,” in this case two women, to buy the weapons for them. According to a federal indictment handed down last month in Atlanta, the transactions took place without a hitch, and within weeks the guns were wreaking havoc on the streets of Boston.

Read the original story here.