Alleged Heroin Dealers Brought 250 Grams of the Drug to Valley

Two men arrested and charged with trafficking heroin Wednesday night, as first reported by WHAV, were allegedly responsible for bringing at least 250 grams of the deadly drug onto the streets of the Merrimack Valley, Attorney General Maura Healey said Friday afternoon.

Francis Fernandez, 33, 14 Pentucket St., and Hector Ocasio, 27, of Lawrence, were arrested between 6:15 and 6:30, Wednesday, on Pentucket Street. They were each charged with trafficking drugs and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Fernandez was also charged with possession of drugs with the intent to distribute and possession of a stun gun. They were arrested as part of a joint operation involving Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police Transportation Drug Unit, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Haverhill Police.

“The opioid epidemic caused 2,000 deaths in Massachusetts last year – the highest number ever recorded in our state,” said Healey. “We allege these defendants were bringing this deadly drug onto the streets of Haverhill. We continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to combat the trafficking of this lethal drug and keep it out of the hands of those already battling addiction.”

Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday and were held on $100,000 cash bail. Fernandez and Ocasio have a probable cause hearing scheduled for March 20 in Haverhill

“The Haverhill Police Department is extremely pleased and proud of the hard-working men and women who contributed to this successful investigation, and we will continue to join efforts with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office and our other law enforcement partners in reducing the availability of this deadly drug in our community,” said Haverhill Detective Lt. Robert Pistone.

In January, authorities began an investigation into an alleged drug trafficking operation they believed was responsible for distributing drugs in Haverhill. They allege Ocasio was supplying Fernandez with heroin and Fernandez in turn was selling the drug on the streets of Haverhill.

This investigation is ongoing.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Lynn Brennan with assistance from Assistant Attorney General Cesar Vega, both of Healey’s Enterprise, Major and Cyber Crimes Division.

4 thoughts on “Alleged Heroin Dealers Brought 250 Grams of the Drug to Valley

  1. Stop the drug war with objective of shutting down the black market. The drug war has failed. The drug war is driving the problems, not fixing them. Decriminalization/legalization is necessary, it needs to be backed up with public health announcements explaining exactly why it is needed. Its not in any way condoning the abuse of addictors, it is done bc the alternative, the drug war, has made things infinitely worse on almost every level, to include making drugs abundantly available to any & all that wants them.
    We need to pull LE out of the drug biz – that will free up a lot of resources currently chasing their collective tails. When the laws create more harm and cause more damage than they prevent, its time to change the laws. The $1 TRILLION so-called war on drugs is a massive big government failure – on nearly every single level. Its way past time to put the cartels & black market drug dealers out of business. Mass incarceration has failed. We cant even keep drugs out of a contained & controlled environment like prison.
    We need the science of addiction causation to guide prevention, treatment, recovery & public policies. Otherwise, things will inexorably just continue to worsen & no progress will be made. Addiction causation research has continued to show that some people (suffering with addiction) have a “hypo-active endogenous opioid/reward system.” This is the (real) brain disease, making addiction a symptom, not a disease itself. One disease, one pathology. Policy must be made reflecting addiction(s) as the health issue that it is.

    • The war on drugs is an apotheosis of the largest & longest war failure in history. It actually exposes our children to more harm & risk and does not protect them whatsoever. In all actuality, the war on drugs is nothing more than an international projection of a domestic psychosis. It is not the “great child protection act,” its actually the complete opposite. Let’s remember, opioids (drug) prohibition is a historical and cultural aberration, just 100 years old. We had fewer drug problems in my own grandparents’ time when opium, morphine, heroin, cocaine and cannabis could all still be bought legally over the counter. (Re)legalizing opioids would not be a “risky social experiment”, as some think. On the contrary, drugs prohibition was the reckless social experiment. And its a massive failure. Alcohol prohibition didn’t work, and opioid prohibition is failing even more miserably. The longer we’ve had drug prohibition laws in place, the worse have the social and health problems they cause gotten.

      • The lesson is clear: Drug laws do not stop people from harming themselves, but they do cause addicts to commit crimes and harm others. We need a new approach that decriminalizes the disease. We must protect society from the collateral damage of addiction and stop waging war on ourselves. We need common sense harm reduction approaches desperately. MAT (medication assisted treatment) and HAT (heroin assisted treatment) must be available options. Of course, MJ should not be a sched drug at all.