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News Release
October 2, 2003


OCT 2 — Boston, MA….Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan announced that the U.S. Attorney's office has commenced a civil forfeiture proceeding against a Fitchburg, Massachusetts property used to facilitate the commission of certain drug crimes.

The United States alleges that 116 MARSHALL STREET has been used to facilitate the distribution of heroin in the Fitchburg area since at least 1996. Investigations into drug activity at the property over the past nine years have included a number of controlled and undercover purchases of heroin at 116 MARSHALL STREET, as well as controlled purchases of heroin at other locations, arranged via telephone calls to 116 MARSHALL STREET and cellular telephone calls to owners and residents of 116 MARSHALL STREET. These investigations led to the execution of three search warrants, the seizure of drugs and drug distribution paraphernalia, and the arrests of the owners and various residents of the property.

Five people including Javier P. Ruberte, age 50, who owns the property jointly with Sonia M. Garcia, age 45, were arrested during an April 2003 search of 116 Marshall Street and charged with state drug law violations. Worcester County District Attorney John Conte's Office is prosecuting those cases. The owners and various residents of the property have previously been convicted of state drug law violations.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Fitchburg Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police worked with the U.S. Attorney's Office in this investigation.

Press Contact: Anthony J. Pettigrew, (617) 557-2138

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