Arrests made in West Springfield cocaine trafficking investigation

Cocaine from Dominican Republic allegedly shipped to Irving Street address

From left to right: Publio Berrios, Jesus Hernandez-Ortiz, and Tiana Matias. Image Courtesy: Hampden County District Attorney's Office.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two men accused of trafficking large amounts of cocaine shipped from the Dominican Republic were arrested in West Springfield on Tuesday. A third suspect, a woman, is facing gun charges after a raid on the home that the three shared.

According to Jim Leydon, spokesperson for the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office, Publio Berrios, 39, Jesus Hernandez-Ortiz, 29, and Tiana Matias, 32, were taken into custody following the search of 68 Irving Street.

Leydon says that an investigation by members of the DA’s Hampden County Narcotics Task Force found that cocaine was being sent from the Dominican Republic to the Irving Street address. They applied for warrants, and searched the home on Tuesday. Inside, police allegedly found more than 250 grams of cocaine and $19,000 cash, as well as an unregistered gun and ammunition. Further, Leydon says 316 grams of cocaine was seized earlier from a package addressed to the home.

Berrios and Hernandez-Ortiz are both charged with trafficking cocaine over 200 grams and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. Matias is charged with possession of a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without an FID card, possession of a high-capacity firing device, and improper storage of a firearm.

Prosecutors had requested bail amounts of $50,000 for both Berrios and Hernandez-Ortiz, but he says that the court instead set bail amounts of $5,000 and $10,000 respectively during the suspects’ arraignments. Bail for Matias was set at $2,500. All three are due back in court on October 19.