5 arrested, “White House” heroin seized in Springfield

2 alleged dealers and 3 alleged customers arrested

springfield santaella mondon suspects
From upper left to lower right: Rafael Santaella, Nicholas Mondon, Angela Howard, Thomas LaFleur, and Patrick Costello. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield police say that a suspected drug dealer hit an unmarked cruiser with his car as he tried to avoid detectives Wednesday night.

According to Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney, Rafael Santaella, 22, and Nicholas Mondon, 47, were both arrested on heroin distribution charges. He says that police seized 429 bags of “White House”-stamped heroin while searching Santaella’s apartment at 18 Coomes Street.

Delaney says that it all began when a detective observed a drug sale at the corner of Belmont Avenue and Oakland Street at around 6:00 P.M. After watching the sale, police arrested the alleged customers, Angela Howard, 42, and Thomas LaFleur, 43, both of Monson on heroin possession charges.

Police allegedly then saw Santaella drive his car to another waiting customer, and making a sale before driving back to his Coomes Street apartment. That  alleged customer, Patrick Costello, 32, of West Springfield, was also arrested and charged with heroin possession.

Delaney says that detectives saw Santaella stay at his apartment for a little while, before leaving again, this time with Mondon in his car. Officers followed them up to East Columbus Avenue and Bridge Street, where Delaney says Santaella saw the detectives and backed into an unmarked cruiser in an attempt to get away. Police surrounded the car, but Mondon allegedly locked the door. A sergeant broke the driver’s side window in order to turn off the car. Both men were then taken into custody.

Police searched Santaella’s apartment, which Delaney says led to the discovery of hundreds of bags of heroin, as well as two loaded handguns, and cash.

In addition to the heroin distribution charge, Santaella faces the following charges:

All of the suspects were scheduled for arraignment Thursday in Springfield District Court.

Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department