Elias Efremidis was arraigned on 21 year-old cocaine trafficking charges in Boston Thursday. Bail was set at a half-million dollars.
Elias Efremidis was arraigned on 21 year-old cocaine trafficking charges in Boston Thursday. Bail was set at a half-million dollars. WCR Photo by Dan McDermott.

A former South Boston resident was held on $500,000 cash bail and an immigration detainer today after his arraignment on a cocaine trafficking charge more than 20 years old, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced.

Assistant District Attorney Allison Callahan told Clerk Magistrate Gary D. Wilson that ELIAS EFREMIDIS (D.O.B. 8/24/56) was a flight risk in light of property and family in the Commonwealth of Virginia; Wilson agreed, granting Callahan’s request that he order Efremidis not to leave Massachusetts while his case is pending.

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials have also placed a detainer on Efremidis as they examine the status of his immigration from Greece.

Callahan told the court that Efremidis locked himself out of his room at the Susse Chalet in Dorchester in the early morning hours of Feb. 26, 1988, and became “visibly agitated” when staff could not produce a spare key and asked him to spend the night in an adjoining room. Instead, Callahan said, he forced his way back into his rented room and told the staff that he had done so but damaged the door in the process.

Callahan said hotel security investigating that damage looked in Efremidis’ rented room and saw numerous paper folds, powder on smooth surfaces, and other evidence of drug use; when security officers asked if he had narcotics in the room, Callahan said, Efremidis grabbed a plastic bag containing cocaine and attempted to flush it down the toilet.

The security officers prevented him from doing so, Callahan said, and called Boston Police. A search of the room led to the recovery of two additional bags of cocaine under his mattress, a scale, a beeper, and more than $3,900 in cash.

At Efremidis’ arraignment later that morning, prosecutors recommended that he be held on $500,000 cash bail; bail was set at $20,000, however, which Efremidis posted before defaulting at a pre-trial hearing later that month.

Despite extensive efforts to locate and apprehend him, Efremidis remained at large. A Suffolk County grand jury later indicted him in absentia on charges of trafficking in more than 200 grams of cocaine and failing to appear after posting bail.

Late last month, police in Front Royal, Virginia, notified Conley’s office that an individual with multiple aliases who was under investigation in their jurisdiction might be the man sought for the 1988 Boston case. Prosecutors reviewed the 20-year-old file, determined that the case was still viable, and advised Front Royal Police that they would rendite Efremidis to Massachusetts if he were taken into custody. He was arrested on the Suffolk charges shortly thereafter and flown back to Massachusetts yesterday.

Efremidis is represented on the Massachusetts charges by attorney John Valerio. He will return to court for a bail hearing on March 26 and a pre-trial conference on April 21.

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