Feds Arrest Two Haverhill Men as Part of Massive Merrimack Valley ‘Operation Devil’s Highway’ Drug Sweep That Nets 38

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Two Haverhill men and three Methuen men were among the 38 Merrimack Valley residents arrested as part of a massive regional federal drug sweep dubbed “Operation Devil’s Highway” aimed at taking opioids, including fentanyl and heroin, off the streets between Lawrence and destinations in New Hampshire.

As a result of the 10-week operation, 38 people are now facing federal drug charges, with a dozen more having to answer to state charges, United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office said Monday. In total, more than 14 kilograms of fentanyl, five kilograms of heroin, 29 kilograms of cocaine, four guns and body armor was seized.

Haverhill’s Bernardito Carvajal and Alfredo Rivera were both charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, Lelling’s office said.

Thirty-two-year-old Jason Medlen and 51-year-old Louis Delvecchio, both of Methuen, have been charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. Methuen’s Alexsander Padro, 28, was also arrested during the sting, and must answer to one federal charge of distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl.

Most of the charges were the result of weekly drug “sweeps” in Lawrence, Lelling’s office said.

“Operation Devil’s Highway should serve as a warning to others thinking of filling the void created by these arrests—we aren’t finished. Everyone arrested this summer allegedly exploited Lawrence as their drug-trafficking hub, bringing perilous opioids like fentanyl and heroin—in addition to cocaine and marijuana—to neighborhoods across New England,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta said.

The Haverhill and Methuen Police Departments were among the 40-60 local, state and federal agencies that assisted with the operation.


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