Grand Jury Indicts Three in Deals Leading to Area Heroin Deaths

BOSTON – Three North Shore men have been indicted for conspiring to distribute heroin and fentanyl in Massachusetts.

Jorge Delgado, also known as Elisaul Martinez Santana, 27, of Peabody, and Juanel Pena, 26, of Salem, were arrested last week, and Thomas Martinez-Ortiz, 21, of Lynn, was arrested today. The men were indicted on conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl, distribution of heroin, and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine in Salem, Peabody and elsewhere in Massachusetts from at least March, 2013, through last month.

The indictment resulted from a joint investigation initiated in April by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Salem Police Department in response to the sharp increase in opioid overdose deaths, particularly overdose deaths involving fentanyl or heroin, in the area.

“The recent surge in overdose deaths resulting from fentanyl-laced heroin is of critical concern to law enforcement and health officials,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “We are committed to working with our local and federal partners in law enforcement to identify hot spots and remove traffickers from the streets in order to stem the flow of these dangerous drugs.”

Salem Police Department Chief Paul F. Tucker added, “We deeply appreciate the partnership between the Salem Police Department and the DEA in this very important investigation to combat the illegal trafficking of narcotics in our community. We believe this investigation and its results will have a much-needed impact on the opioid overdose problem in and around Salem.”

The charged conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million.