Over a dozen people, including several from western Massachusetts, have been indicted as part of a heroin trafficking ring.
The U.S. Attorney's office said that, on Thursday, 14 people were indicted at U.S. District Court in Springfield on conspiracy to distribute and posses with intent to distribute heroin related to what they called a "large-scale heroin trafficking organization that was supplied by sources in the Dominican Republic and New York."
Those suspects include:
All but one of the suspects were arrested and charged with conspiring to distribute heroin on Thursday, September 22. Carlos Sierra (aka Rivera) remains a fugitive at large.
The U.S Attorney's office explained that according to court documents, Marte, who allegedly was the head of a drug trafficking operation, had contact with heroin suppliers in the Dominican Republic and every month, organization members would reportedly transport between 8 and 20 kilograms of heroin to the Springfield area.
"The organization then packaged the heroin and distributed it using a variety of stamps, including 'Donald Trump' and 'Hollywood.' The 'Hollywood' brand of heroin has been associated with a number of overdose deaths in western New England that occurred in late 2015 and early 2016," the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement.
More than five kilos of heroin were seized over the course of the investigation.
“The indictments handed down in this investigation charge a violent criminal group allegedly responsible for flooding western Massachusetts with a highly-addictive and often lethal form of heroin. Working alongside our law enforcement partners, HSI will continue to use its unique authorities to ensure this poison and those who peddle it are removed from our communities," said Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston in a statement.
Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, in a statement, thanked U.S. Attorney of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz and the federal agencies for their assistance and noted that "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."
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