Police Arrest Six, Including 22-Year-Old Methuen Man, For Alleged Theft of $50,000 in Lottery Tickets

Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker. (WHAV News photograph.)

Six people, including a 22-year-old Methuen man, were arrested Wednesday after 121 indictments were handed down related to alleged break-ins at various convenience stores where about $50,000 lottery tickets were stolen.

Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker said indictments charged “known” gang members and associates with breaking and entering in the night for felony, larceny in excess of $1,200, larceny from a building, wanton destruction of property over $1,200, receiving stolen property less than $1,200, common and notorious thief, money laundering and improper use of credit card less than $1,200.

“These indictments and arrests are a reflection of the tremendous partnerships between state and local agencies and represent how law enforcement and prosecutors from my office work tirelessly and side-by-side to solve and prosecute crimes perpetrated by criminal networks,” Tucker said in a statement.

Tucker’s office said it was involved in a three-month, multi-agency effort they called “Operation Smash & Cash” where at least 12 convenience stores throughout Essex and Middlesex counties in Massachusetts and four New Hampshire communities were struck February, March, and April of this year.

Search warrants were used in Methuen, Lawrence, Revere, Swampscott and Lynn.

Those arrested were Israel Garcia of Methuen; David Garcia, 22, of Lynn; Darwin Batista, 20, of Lynn; Angel Santos, 24 of Lynn; Westyn Lantigua, 23 of Lynn; and Aaron Diaz Liranzo, 25 of Revere.

All were held without bail in District Court on the fugitive from justice charges until May 30. They were then arraigned on the indictments in Superior Court and held without bail until May 8 and 10 when arguments for bail will be heard.

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