Feds Raid New Bedford and Fall River in Three-State Drug Sweep
Federal agents on Tuesday executed search warrants in three states and seized four kilos of narcotics, three firearms, two vehicles and $140,000 in cash.
Fifteen people -- including four individuals from Fall River and two from New Bedford -- were charged by criminal complaint in Boston's federal court of fentanyl and cocaine possession and distribution conspiracy charges.
The investigation began in March 2017, involved wiretaps on at least 11 cellphones, and revealed a narcotics network operating throughout southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, according to a media release from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
The following individuals were swept up in the three-and-a-half year investigation:
- Donald V. Alfonso a/k/a Moolie, 39, of Fall River
- Mark W. Alfonso a/k/a Chamaquito, 31, of Fall River
- Bryant N. Baez a/k/a Mandarria, 42, of Fall River
- Josdani M. Calderon, 32, of Providence, R.I.
- Gabriela O. Dasilva a/k/a Karrie, 45, of New Bedford
- Kyle M. Dupras a/k/a Zee, 29, of Fall River
- Alvin Javier a/k/a Sopha, 26, a Dominican national illegally residing in Lawrence
- Angel L. Landrau-Marrero a/k/a Chi-Chi, 31, of New Bedford
- Jeison M. Marinez-Matos, 28, a Dominican national illegally residing in Bridgeport, Conn.
- Hanlet D. Mejia-Alvarez a/k/a Nephew, 32, a Dominican national illegally residing in Cranston, R.I.
- Luis Adolfo Mejia-Diaz, a/k/a El Bello, 52, a Dominican national illegally residing in Providence, R.I.
- Jose A. Ortega a/k/a “Amorol,” 43, of Cranston, R.I.
- Jesus Rivera, age unknown, a Dominican national illegally residing in Providence, R.I.
- Wilkie O. Sanz, 30, of Dorchester
- Ramon Encarnacion Frias, 34, a Dominican national illegally residing in Providence, R.I.
Agents on Tuesday seized three handguns; loaded magazines and ammunition, including a high capacity magazine; two vehicles; approximately four kilos of fentanyl, heroin and/or cocaine; approximately five pounds of marijuana; 38 bottles of liquid THC; approximately $140,000 in cash; and kilo presses, scales and other drug packaging materials.
El Bello was allegedly a large-scale fentanyl and cocaine distributor and Marinez-Matos was a source of supply for the organization. On March 21, investigators seized nearly one kilogram of fentanyl from Marinez-Matos, the media release stated.
If convicted, the defendants could see hefty prison sentences and fines.
The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The program seeks to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Fall River Police Chief Jeffrey Cardoza; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro; Westport Police Chief Keith Pelletier; and Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements Jr. made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ann Taylor and Katherine Ferguson of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.