A joint operation undertaken last Thursday in Lynn, Haverhill, Lawrence and Methuen brought nine arrests of Lawrence residents, two arrests of Lynn residents and the seizure of more than 18 kilograms of fentanyl, two semi-automatic pistols, $10,000, a Mercedes Benz and a portable hydraulic compartment to hide narcotics.
The Massachusetts attorney general’s office, Massachusetts State Police, several local police departments and federal law enforcement agents used search warrants to access five locations in Lawrence and one each in Lynn and Methuen.
“Operation Philly Special” was the result of a lengthy investigation conducted by the State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction and Enforcement Team, troopers assigned to the attorney general’s office, federal Homeland Security Investigations and Salem, N.H., Police, under the direction of Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell’s office.
The investigation, which began last November based on information provided by Salem, N.H., Police focused on a Lawrence-based drug trafficking organization that was supplying fentanyl throughout the Merrimack Valley.
At one target location in Lawrence, as State Police were making entry, a female tried to rush a child with a backpack out of the residence. Investigators stopped the woman and child and located a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and ammunition inside the backpack. The woman was charged with child endangerment.
At another target location, a residence at 46 Whitman St., Lawrence, the entry team discovered an active fentanyl processing plant on the third floor and observed unidentified powders and an overwhelming odor of ammonia. Team members exited the building and secured it from the outside and requested that the multi-agency Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team from the state Department of Fire Services respond to the scene with specialized apparatus and testing equipment.
Over the several-month long course of the investigation, troopers, officers, and agents seized an additional kilogram-plus of Fentanyl and another firearm.
The seized Fentanyl, once cut up and sold on the street, would have an estimated value of nearly $1 million.
Those already arraigned in Lawrence District Court on drug trafficking and related charges are Rafael Saldana Dias, 26; Yosmeiry Martinez Ramon, 21; Freddy Alexander Suazo Tejeda, 36; Rafelin Lugo Tejada, 32 Henderson Martinez, 34; and Wilkin Antonio Perez, 26; all of Lawrence.
Thirty-four-year-old Yahannys Anziani of Lawrence and 39-year-old Augusto Moscat were charged with unlawful possession of firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and child endangerment.
Marcos Santos, 37, of Lawrence, was charged with conspiracy.
Arraigned in Lynn District Court was Miguel Medrano, 55, of Lynn, charged with trafficking of Class A substance of more than 200 grams.
Henderson Martin, 34, of Lawrence, is also expected to be arraigned in Lynn District Court on a charge of trafficking of Class A substance of more than 200 grams.