Haverhill and Methuen Fentanyl Dealing Operation ‘Dismantled;’ Two Methuen Men Face Charges

Haverhill District Court. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A fentanyl trafficking organization, allegedly run by two Methuen men who targeted Haverhill and Methuen, was “dismantled” by local and state police last week.

Attorney General Maura Healey said Wednesday 34-year-old Miguel Melo Brea and 24-year-old Jhan Caceres-Peguero, both of Methuen, were arrested and arraigned in Haverhill District Court. Melo Brea was charged with five counts of trafficking in 10 grams or more of fentanyl and Caceres-Peguero was charged with a single count each of trafficking in 10 grams or more of fentanyl and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Cash bail was set at $100,000 for Melo Brea and $75,000 for Caceres Peguero. They are both due back in Haverhill District Court on March 11 for a probable cause hearing.

Both men were also charged with trafficking in 200 grams or more of fentanyl and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Melo Brea was arraigned on the charges Tuesday in Lawrence District Court and cash bail was set at $250,000. He is due back in Lawrence District Court March 16 for a probable cause hearing. Caceres-Peguero will be arraigned on the additional charges in Lawrence District Court at a later date.

The arrests follow a joint investigation by Healey’s New England Fentanyl Strike Force and partner agencies, including Massachusetts State Police assigned to the attorney general’s office and the Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team North and the Haverhill Police Department with the assistance of the Methuen Police Department. During the course of this investigation, authorities seized more than one kilogram of fentanyl.

Prosecutors allege Melo Brea sold a total of 330 grams of fentanyl to an undercover officer on five separate occasions in Haverhill. During execution of a search warrant at his Methuen residence, investigators seized approximately 770 grams of fentanyl, $2,000 in cash and narcotics paraphernalia including a digital scale, spooning utensils and plastic bags. While executing the search warrant, investigators responded to a 911 call from an upstairs neighbor about a man, later identified as Caceres-Peguero, who forced his way into her apartment. Caceres-Peguero was found hiding in the attic of the building and was arrested.

Caceres-Peguero is charged in connection with participating with Melo Brea in the sale of approximately 20 grams of fentanyl to an undercover officer.

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