Three weeks after Bristol County authorities busted a massive fentanyl trafficking ring in and around Taunton and Fall River, investigators have also arrested an alleged supplier to the organization, the Bristol District Attorney's Office announced Friday.

The multi-jurisdictional task force that took down seven alleged drug traffickers and seized around $350,000 worth of fentanyl and oxycodone in "Operation Shore Thing" earlier this month also tracked down the alleged supplier on May 23.

Task force members had investigated the large-scale drug trafficking organization based in Bristol County for more than a year, the office noted.

According to the D.A.'s office, 44-year-old Dorchester resident Antonio Valdez was traced to Fall River where he was arrested while carrying 21 grams of fentanyl, two grams of cocaine and a number of oxycodone pills.

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Valdez has been charged with fentanyl and oxycodone trafficking as well as possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

“I am pleased that our wiretap investigation has now resulted in the arrest of the alleged supplier and the seizure of more fentanyl and oxycodone, both of which are directly contributing to the fatal overdoses in our communities,” Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said.

In total, "Operation Shore Thing" resulted in authorities seizing nearly two kilograms of fentanyl, more than 4,300 oxycodone tablets, 53 grams of crack cocaine, two illegal firearms and $75,000 in cash.

Quinn said he is "very pleased" that the investigation "resulted in the dismantling of a large scale fentanyl distribution ring that was connected to a number of communities in our county."

"We will continue to investigate these drug organizations and hold people accountable for contributing to the ongoing addiction problems in our communities," he added.



Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, commented: “Operation Shore Thing leaves us sure of one very big thing — southeastern Massachusetts is safer today than it was before, thanks to the tenacious work of state troopers, police officers, federal agents, and prosecutors."

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