June 20, 2019
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Joint investigation by federal, state and local authorities leads to 14 arrests and seizure of over 25 kilograms of fentanyl/heroin and cocaine
BOSTON – DEA New England Division Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy announced today that 14 people were arrested and arraigned in connection with a major heroin/fentanyl trafficking organization operating in Methuen and Lawrence, MA. During the investigation, authorities seized more than 25 kilograms of heroin/fentanyl and cocaine, four firearms, and nearly $100,000 in cash, the largest takedown of an opioid trafficking operation in the history of the AG’s Office in Massachusetts.
These charges are the result of an extensive investigation involving DEA, AG Healey’s Enterprise, Major and Cyber Crime Division, the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and the Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team (CINRET), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Methuen and Woburn Police Departments, and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department.
“Fentanyl is causing great damage to our communities and DEA’s top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison in order to profit and destroy lives,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “Illegal drug distribution ravages the very foundations of our families and communities so every time we take fentanyl off the streets, lives are saved. This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative local, state, and federal law enforcement efforts and our strong partnership with Attorney General Healey’s Office.”
“This operation demonstrates the power and impact of inter-agency collaboration in tackling the opioid epidemic,” said AG Healey. “I want to thank our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement for working with us to dismantle drug networks, prosecute traffickers, and keep these deadly drugs out of our communities. I know this takedown is going to save lives.”
Authorities executed search warrants at 14 locations in Methuen and Lawrence on Wednesday that resulted in the seizure of 13.7 kilos of fentanyl/heroin and 6.8 kilos of cocaine; four firearms, including a loaded Ruger semi-automatic handgun, two .22 caliber handguns, one .45 Glock, and several rounds of ammunition; and $98,860 in cash. An additional two kilos of fentanyl/heroin and three kilos of cocaine were seized during the course of the investigation.
The investigation began in 2017 and culminated in this week’s takedown after months of undercover operations and cutting-edge surveillance of a sophisticated drug distribution enterprise with connections to other networks in the northeast and managed by traffickers as far away as New Jersey. This investigation is ongoing.