Volume 3 | Fall 2021
A Message
District Attorney Cruz


The Plymouth County District Attorney's Office offers presentations to students and their parents on Cyber Sense.

If you are interested in scheduling a presentation, please email us at:

Cyber Tip Line: 


Report fraud and Identity Theft to both the FBI.gov and FTC.gov

The Transnational
Elder Fraud Strike Force:

Investigates and prosecutes individuals and organizations engaged in foreign-based fraud schemes that disproportionately affect American seniors 

Search acronyms, lingo and slang used on the internet

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About Internet Safety...

Recently, my office has been inundated with reports of internet scams. We prosecute these crimes to the best of our ability, but we would much prefer to prevent them from ever happening. 

According to a survey by Pew Research Center, April, 2021- 85% of adults in the United States now own a smartphone. Smartphones as well as other devices that are linked to the internet provide a number of dangers that can lure unsuspecting victims into their web.

With today’s technology, we all have to be extra careful to protect ourselves from the dangers that exist in cyber space.

Here are some tips to remember to keep yourself safe while on the internet:

  • Privacy settings: should be set as restrictive as possible.

  • Be careful of what you post on social media: Do not share personal information such as posts that reveal birthdays, family member names and pet names as these can all help a criminal guess your passwords, and make a scam more convincing.

  • Never Post in Anger: Posting in anger can damage your reputation and may be criminal. It is illegal to threaten or harass others over the internet. Law enforcement has the ability to track IP (internet protocol) addresses back to the device owner – You are never anonymous, even if you use a fake name.

  • People may not be who they seem: The term “catfish” refers to those who lure others into a relationship by using a fictional online persona. “Catfishing” goes beyond just being embarrassing. Romance scams quickly turn into financial scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, romance scams were the top fraud impacting adults over the age of 60 in 2020, with $139 million in losses to older adults. 

  • Products purchased online may not be what they seem: Be very careful about which websites you use while shopping online. Stick to reputable companies. This is especially true for prescription drugs. It is difficult to tell counterfeit drugs from the real thing and counterfeit drugs often contain fentanyl or methamphetamine and can be deadly.

  • Beware of phishing scams: These are fraudulent emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. If you receive an email requesting payment updates, or personal information, do not respond. Instead, either go to the company's website directly, and access your account. This is where it will state if there is an issue with your account.

  • A good tip to always remember: If you wouldn't walk up to a stranger and share the information you are about to post, then don't share it on the internet.

If you have been the victim of fraud or harassment, contact your local police or my office for assistance. You may feel embarrassed, but remember that you were scammed by a professional scam artist. By making a report you can help us prevent others from falling for the same scheme.

Stay safe!

Timothy J. Cruz
Plymouth County District Attorney

Community News
Plymouth County TRIAD Initiative

New Chapters
Welcome to TRIAD
Kingston & West Bridgewater
West Bridgewater TRIAD kicked off with a celebratory breakfast in September.

Kingston TRIAD held its first event on November 30th.

Kingston and West Bridgewater join our existing TRIAD chapters which are located in: Bridgewater, Brockton, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Lakeville, Marshfield, Plymouth and Plympton-Carver.

We are looking forward to adding a chapter soon in Hingham, where the kickoff was stalled by the pandemic.

TRIAD has been developed to reduce the criminal victimization of our older population and to enhance the delivery of law enforcement services to them.

TRIAD is a nationally recognized program in which public safety agencies, older adults and community groups all work together to identify and implement the resources, programs and services that are currently available in their community.

The Plymouth County TRIAD is a cooperative effort that consists of the District Attorney, the Sheriff, the local Police Chief, the local Fire Chief, the Council on Aging Director, S.A.L.T. Council Members, older adults, and representatives from community groups that assist older adults in their community.

West Bridgewater TRIAD Kick-Off
Kingston TRIAD Kick-Off
Community Outreach
CORI Friendly Career Fair
War Memorial Building
September 15, 2021
District Attorney Tim Cruz, Sheriff Joe McDonald and Mayor Bob Sullivan teamed up once again this year to sponsor the CORI Friendly Career Fair.

The annual career fair, held in Brockton since 2018, was open to all Plymouth County residents, including those that have a criminal record.

Data shows significant reductions in recidivism rates for those individuals who leave prison to become gainfully employed.

Sheriff McDonald's Re-Entry Program Specialists have been working inside the correctional facility for many years with tremendous success. That model was utilized to bring this opportunity to those in our community.
Annual First Responders Appreciation Day
September 23, 2021
Brockton, MA
Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Unit joined me today to participate and show our support at the 2nd Annual First Responders Appreciation Day, held at City Hall in Brockton.

Everyday we are grateful to those who choose to put on a uniform and protect us.

Thank you to the City of Brockton and Lady C & J Cafe for providing 600 meals to our local heroes and the community.
Trunk or Treat at the
Plymouth Family Resource Center

On October 29th the Plymouth Family Resource Center hosted a fun trunk or treat event for local families.
The Plymouth FRC invited agencies to give out Halloween treats and resources.

It was a pleasure to see so many families enjoying the event and the costumes were great!
Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force
A Special Mass for All Those Affected by Addiction
Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force Chairs, District Attorney Tim Cruz and Sheriff Joe McDonald, attended "A Special Mass for All Those Affected by Addiction" at Holy Family Church in Duxbury on October 10th.

The Mass was organized by the Knights of Columbus and was followed by a resource fair.

We sincerely appreciate the efforts of community partners like the Knights of Columbus, PCO Hope, South Shore Health, and Gosnold who show up not just at special events like this, but every day for individuals struggling with substance use.
Battle of the Badges
The 2nd Annual Battle of the Badges Bowling Tournament took place on Saturday, November 20th at Westgate Lanes in Brockton.

Approximately 30 teams from local public safety agencies participated in this event. All proceeds raised will benefit children affected by substance use disorders.
Plymouth County DECI
National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children
Recently, my office partnered with the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children for guidance in creating a Plymouth County DEC Alliance and a Massachusetts DEC Alliance.
Members of my staff and I were invited to attend the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children's national conference in Nashville last August. Joining us were stakeholders from Plymouth County and Worcester County.

Upon our return, my staff scheduled the virtual National DEC Academy training, and opened it up to anyone in the state that was interested in learning about the risks drug endangered children face and the approach National DEC has developed to respond.

The level of interest was substantial. Over 100 participants registered for the National DEC Academy.

Upon completion of the National DEC Academy, those who were interested in going further to become a trainer, were invited to attend the National DEC train-the-trainer course.

25 individuals from across the state registered and completed their training to present the National DEC curriculum. 12 of the certified National DEC trainers are in Plymouth County.

Having certified trainers located around the state of Massachusetts will help raise awareness of drug endangered children and will assist as we build a coordinated response.
Office News
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Unit
Welcomes Minhtram Tran!
Minhtram T. Tran has been hired as Chief Legal Counsel of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

As Chief Legal Counsel of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Tran is providing legal, professional, and managerial support for office initiatives. 
"Throughout her impressive legal career and her commitment to community, Ms. Tran has proven that she has the talent and dedication to guide her in her role as Chief Legal Counsel of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” DA Cruz said. “Plymouth County and our staff will benefit from Ms. Tran’s expertise and enthusiasm.”

A lawyer for over 15 years, Tran began her legal career as a law clerk with the Bristol County Register of Probate. She also served as a Rule 3:03 counsel for the New Center for Legal Advocacy Inc. in New Bedford, and was a judicial intern with the District Court in Rhode Island.

Tran has operated her own private practice since 2009. Prior to having her own practice, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to her impressive legal career, she spends her time serving the community by presently serving as a trustee for the Marion Affordable Housing Trust, she is President of the Board of Directors for Loft Inc., a non-profit organization, co-leader for Girl Scouts Troop 67047, and has provided free legal services as an Attorney Representing Children for Bristol County.

Previously, Tran was a mentor for the Boys and Girls Club in New Bedford, volunteered with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and was a volunteer counselor for the Vietnamese Community for Orange County Inc. in California.

Born in Germany and raised in California, Tran received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a minor in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine. During her undergraduate years, she studied abroad at the Institute for Shipboard Education. She received her law degree from Southern New England School of Law. While in law school, she studied abroad at the Venice International Law Institute in Venice, Italy.

Tran has been admitted to the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut, the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the United States Supreme Court.
School Based Programs
Cyber Sense Program

Our Cyber Sense program has been offered to schools across Plymouth County. My staff and I welcome the opportunity to educate students, faculty and parents on internet safety.

2021 Presentations included:

  • Carver Elementary School
  • East Bridgewater High School
  • Furnace Brook Middle School in Marshfield
  • The Chamberlain International School in Middleborough
  • Nichols Middle School in Middleborough
  • Silver Lake Middle School in Pembroke
  • Plymouth Public Schools included Cyber Sense in their professional development training for school staff
  • Rockland Elementary School
  • Rockland Middle School
  • Rockland High SchoolEast Bridgewater grades 7 and 8

Our Cyber Sense presentation addresses issues faced by students while online and touches upon these important topics:

  • Parental Controls
  • Identity Theft
  • Social Media
  • Cyberbullying
  • Sexting
  • Your Digital Footprint
  • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children/Human Trafficking
  • Consequences

If your school is interested in a Cyber Sense presentation, please click the button below:
Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awarness Month (DVAM) was launched nationwide in October, 1987. National statistics show that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

During the month of October, individuals and organizations that work on domestic violence issues connect and unite to raise awareness of these issues.

Here in Plymouth County in 2021:
  • We have prosecuted over 1000 Domestic Violence cases.
  • 17 defendants have been indicted in the Superior Court on Domestic Violence charges since January.

  • 270 restraining order violations are currently being prosecuted within Plymouth County.

  • 177 defendants have either been convicted or admitted to sufficient facts on Domestic Violence-related charges.

During the month of October, we acknowledge not only the survivors of domestic violence, but members of law enforcement and their tireless efforts to keep the community safe from these offenders. 
Love Life Now Foundation
On November 5, 2021 myself and members of my staff attended Love Life Now Foundations Hearts & Hands 10 Year Anniversary Celebration.

I commend Lovern Gordon and the Love Life Now Foundation for their tireless dedication and commitment, and for their innovative domestic violence awareness initiatives.

We look forward to working together to put an end to domestic violence, once and for all.
Children's Advocacy Center
In 2021, our Children's Advocacy Center has received over 500 referrals where child has been abused or neglected.

The CAC is an important part of our office. Not one agency or professional alone can prevent and treat the problem of child abuse. A multi-disciplinary response is essential.

The CAC has developed a collaborative partnership between law enforcement, The Department of Children and Families, the Department of Public Health, prosecution, mental health agencies, and Brockton Hospital, to serve the best interests of the child.

The CAC is a child-friendly facility that hosts staff from collaborative agencies with the primary responsibility of investigating child abuse including: local and/or State Police, the Department of Children and Families, and the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office. The Center is fiscally managed by BAMSI, Inc.

We were pleased to meet with our local community partners in person at our annual breakfast this past October.
The Plymouth County District Attorney's Office
166 Main Street
Brockton, MA 02301