SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Fourteen people were indicted on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Springfield in connection with a trafficking organization that allegedly sold heroin linked to overdose deaths in New England.
According to U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, thirteen men and one woman were indicted on conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin after an eight month-long investigation. She said the organization was supplied by sources in the Dominican Republic and New York.
The alleged suspects, except for Carlos Sierra who remains a fugitive at large, were arrested and charged on September 22nd in a criminal complaint with conspiring to distribute heroin, Ortiz said.
The following are the alleged suspects involved in the organization:
- Alberto Marte, 31, of Springfield
- Marcos Pena, 29, of Springfield
- Julian Declet, 32, of Springfield
- Jiovanni Rodriguez, 29, of Springfield
- Jose Miguel Ramos, 36, of Springfield
- Pablo Rosario, 32, of Bronx, NY
- Carlos Sierra (aka Rivera), 40, of Springfield (fugitive)
- Mirelvy Vasquez, 26, of Springfield
- Diolfi Antonio Marte Vasquez, 25, of Springfield
- Anthony Patino, 31, of Springfield
- Juan Perez, 29, of Springfield
- Eduardo Ferndandez, 38, of Hazelton, Penn.
- Anyuly Tavarez, 30, of Springfield
- William Brantley, 45, of Springfield
“Here in western Massachusetts, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are successfully working together to combat the opioid crisis,” said Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni. “This investigation shows that we will hold accountable those who seek to profit from addiction by selling and trafficking drugs on our streets and in our neighborhoods. I thank United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz and our federal partners for bringing these indictments forward.”
According to court documents, Alberto Marte, the alleged head of a drug trafficking organization, had between 8 to 20 kilograms of heroin brought to the Springfield area through heroin supply sources in the Dominican Republic.
The heroin was packaged and sold with a variety of stamps, including “Donald Trump” and “Hollywood,” the court documents stated. As 22News has been reporting, the “Hollywood” brand of heroin has been linked with a number of overdose deaths throughout New England in late 2015 and early 2016.
Chicopee Police Chief William Jebb said, “Once again, this shows that by working as a cohesive unit, sharing information, and sharing together, major operations such as this come to a successful conclusion. This eight month-long investigation resulted in the arrest of 13 individuals, over three kilos of heroin, eight firearms and thousands of dollars. Our city has unfortunately seen too many overdoses, and deaths, from heroin. Because of the efforts of all involved, this dangerous drug was kept off of our streets, and resulted in many lives saved.”
More than 5 kilos of heroin was seized by federal agents during the investigation. Ortiz said each suspect faces a life time in prison if convicted.