Alleged drug dealers back on street hours after arrest

Hundreds of alleged drug dealers, were arrested, many of them repeat offenders

Mug shots of suspects arrested in "Operation Full Throttle III" lined the wall of a room at Holyoke Police Department headquarters for a July 6, 2017 news conference.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Police said their anti-drug and gang operation has resulted in hundreds of arrests, and the seizure of tens of thousands of bags of heroin over the last few weeks.

22News spoke with the Holyoke Police Department about the war on drugs. A wall of booking photos of some 400 recently arrested drug suspects decorated the wall at Holyoke Police Headquarters Thursday.

During “Operation Full Throttle III” this spring and summer, Holyoke and Springfield police seized more than 50,000 bags of heroin, hundreds of bags of crack cocaine and several illegal firearms.

And hundreds of alleged drug dealers, were arrested, many of them repeat offenders.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has been a strong advocate of tighter bail reform. 22News I-Team discovered five alleged drug dealers who were busted with more than 20,000 bags of heroin were back on the streets within hours.

“I sometimes think the justice system is fractured,” Holyoke Police Chief James Neiswanger told 22News. “Of the 400 hundred plus arrest, not all of these people are going to jail, we understand that. Those carrying illegal guns, that we could keep locked up, that would be huge. And if we keep them locked up, guess what, 6 more people aren’t going to get shot that year.”

“You know very questionable,” James Krobath of Springfield said. “There’s a lot of activity that goes on. I believe drug deals right in front of my property, so it concerns me.”

Mayor Domenic Sarno said the only way to keep Springfield and other urban areas, across the country safe, is to keep repeat violent offenders in jail.