Made in Connection with Large-Scale Cocaine
MAY 3 - Boston, MA... Arrests were made Saturday, May 1, 2004, in connection with a lengthy investigation focused on a drug distribution ring, based in Lynn, that has allegedly been importing cocaine from Mexico for distribution in and around North Shore cities. The investigation culminated in Saturday’s seizure of an approximately 50 kilogram shipment of cocaine from Mexico intended for distribution around the North Shore.
Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; Colonel Thomas J. Foley, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police;John Suslak, Chief of the Lynn Police Department and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, announced today two complaints charging a total of twenty- four defendants for their involvement in the drug distribution ring. Specifically, the defendants are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine. If convicted on the charges, each of the defendants faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.
According to affidavits filed in support of the Complaints, it is alleged that between January 1, 2003 and the present, that leader ANDRES MARTINEZ and associates VALENTIN MARTINEZ, KELVIN MADERA, and JOSE ROSALES conspired with each other as well as organization members in Mexico to import multiple kilogram quantities of cocaine into the United States – cocaine that was destined for Lynn, Massachusetts and other North Shore towns. The investigation culminated with the seizure Saturday of a 50 kilogram shipment of cocaine contained in 2 suitcases that had been transported by tractor trailer truck to Danvers. It is alleged that the driver of the tractor trailer truck arrived Friday and stayed overnight at a motel in Danvers. The truck driver transferred the suitcases containing the cocaine to associates of the organization who met with him at the motel on Saturday. The associates then drove the suitcases over to one of the operation’s locations,6 Endicott Street in Danvers, where ANDRES MARTINEZ arrived shortly thereafter. It is alleged that ROGELIO GARCIA, JUAN MARTINEZ, RICARDO MARTINEZ, CHRISTIAN GERMOSEN, and GILBERTO ZAYAS were key members of the organization who assisted with drug distribution, money collection and other miscellaneous duties.
The Complaint also alleges that once the cocaine arrived in Lynn, members of the organization arranged for kilogram, half kilogram, and multi- ounce distributions to a large customer base of high level cocaine suppliers that included PHILIP ASARO, SILVESTRE LIZARDI, RAMON ACOSTA, GIOVANNI AVILA, ROBERT RUSCIO, HOWARD GREENBERG, and GERARDO VASSEUR ORTIZ. It is alleged that some of these customers held meetings with organization members to purchase drugs at businesses they owned, including H. G. Apartment Rentals in Revere, owned by GREENBERG;Bob’s Carburetor/ Bob’s Auto Sales in Salem owned by RUSCIO; and Giovanni’s BMW Auto Body, an automobile repair and paint shop in Lynn, owned by AVILA.
It is alleged that ABDALLAH HAMDAN, CARLOS RUIZ, CARLOS COLON- RIVERA, and LUIS DEJESUS were also organization customers. It is alleged that through the efforts of ANDRES MARTINEZ based in Mexico, VALENTIN MARTINEZ, ANDRES MARTINEZ’s nephew, has, in the past, been able to secure multi- kilogram loads of cocaine by arranging for shipments to be smuggled from Mexico into the United States and, thereafter, to New York and other parts of the country, including Lynn. When drugs arrived in Lynn,VALENTIN MARTINEZ was assisted by his brother- in- law, MADERA, in its distribution to their broad customer base, as well as to the drug customers of VALENTIN MARTINEZ’s lieutenant/ associate, ROSALES. It is alleged that to facilitate distribution, VALENTIN MARTINEZ and MADERA commonly utilized large SUVs containing hidden compartments capable of secretly holding many kilograms of cocaine. As the drugs were distributed and proceeds were collected, ANDRES MARTINEZ, VALENTIN MARTINEZ, and MADERA began the process anew of planning future cocaine shipments from Mexico to the North Shore area.
“ This investigation involved an international cocaine trafficking organization based in Mexico. These people sent kilogram quantities of cocaine directly into Massachusetts seemingly secure behind their international boundary,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Trouville. “However, by combining the efforts and talents of our local Task Forces with DEA’s International and National resources, these individuals will now be held accountable in Massachusetts and their criminal enterprise has been put out of business.”
The Complaint also alleges that in December 2003 and January 2004, multi- kilogram quantities of cocaine en route to Lynn for subsequent distribution to Lynn- based customers of the organization were seized by law enforcement in New York and Connecticut. In addition, $95,080 in drug proceeds owed to other organization cocaine suppliers was seized by the Massachusetts State Police in October 2003, after a car stop on the Massachusetts Turnpike.
In addition to Saturday’s arrests and cocaine seizure, law enforcement officials executed a total of eleven search warrants in the cities of Lynn, Newburyport, Danvers, Salem, Malden and Peabody. Including, RUSCIO’s Bob’s Carburetor/ Bob’s Auto Sales in Salem, and AVILA’s Giovanni’s BMW Auto Body in Lynn. As a result of the searches, among other items, a total of approximately $100,000 in cash was recovered.
Named in the First Complaint are: 1. ANDRES MARTINEZ, age 55, of 172 Lake Street, Peabody, MA; 2. JOSE ROSALES, age 27, of 80 Sagamore Street, Lynn, MA; 3. VALENTIN MARTINEZ, age 34, of 108 Johnson Street, Lynn, MA; 4. KELVIN MADERA, age 37, of 16 Sheldon Street, Lynn, MA; 5. ABDALLAH HAMDAN, age 28, of 10 Roosevelt Street, Methuen, MA; 6. CARLOS RUIZ, age 26, of 106 Bartholomew Street, Peabody, MA; 7. RICARDO MARTINEZ, age 27, of 304 American Legion Highway, Revere, MA; 8. HOWARD GREENBERG, age 52, of 677 Revere Beach Blvd, Revere, MA; 9. CARLOS COLON- RIVERA, age 39, of 58 Campbell Street, New Bedford, MA; 10. ROGELIO GARCIA, age 23, of 85 Walnut Avenue, Revere, MA; 11. RAMON ACOSTA, age 39, of 4 Sheridan Street, Lynn, MA; 12. CHRISTIAN GERMOSEN, age 25, of 11 Ingalls Street, Lynn, MA; 13. JUAN MARTINEZ, age 35, of 3 Fosdick Terrace, Lynn, MA; 14. GERARDO VASSEUR ORTIZ, age 31, 580 Salem St, Wakefield, MA; 15. PHILLIP ASARO, age 30, of 238 School Street, Somerville, MA; 16. SILVESTRE LIZARDI, age 23, of 29 Hardy Street, Newburyport, MA; 17. ROBERT RUSCIO, age 52, of 286 Newbury Street, Peabody, MA; 18. GIOVANNI AVILA, age 41, of 88 Windsor Avenue, Swampscott, MA; 19. GILBERTO ZAYAS, age 30, of 39 Fayette Street, Lynn, MA; and 20. LUIS DEJESUS, age 37, of 107 Marianna Street, Lynn, MA.
Named in the Second Complaint are: 1. DANIEL AGUILAR, age 30, of 172 Lake Street, Peabody, MA, formerly of Mexico; 2. ROBERTO SOLORIO, age 45, of 172 Lake Street, Peabody, MA, formerly of Mexico; 3. LUZ LUCIANO, age 44, of 6 Endicott Street, Danvers, MA, formerly of Mexico; and 4. RONALD ESTRADA, age 40, Address Unknown.
All of the defendants charged were arrested Saturday, except for GERARDO VASSEUR ORTIZ who is already in custody in Maryland on separate charges and RICARDO MARTINEZ and JUAN MARTINEZ who are believed to be at large in Mexico. The remaining 21 defendants arrested on Saturday will have initial appearances today in federal district court in Worcester before U. S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Swartwood, III.
The case was investigated by the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police, the Saugus and Lynn Police Departments, the Essex County Drug Task Force, the Northeast Merrimack Valley Drug Task Force, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Robert L. Peabody in Sullivan’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.