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Over 40 charged on drug, immigration, and weapon charges, enough fentanyl to kill half of Massachusetts

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BOSTON – Dozens of individuals were arrested Thursday on federal drug, firearms, and immigration offenses, as well as state warrants. In addition, 13 criminal aliens were arrested and will be processed administratively. Today’s sweep, netting more than 35 criminals in and around the City of Lawrence, is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood Initiative (PSN), which aims to bring together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime.

As part of today’s sweep, approximately 35 defendants were charged with federal and state offenses, and nine are still at large. Thirteen criminal aliens were arrested by ICE and will be processed administratively for removal from the United States, and 14 are currently at large.

The arrests are the culmination of a number of federal investigations dubbed Operation Law and Order, which targeted impact players and repeat offenders in and around the City of Lawrence, all of whom have prior convictions for acts of violence, firearm offenses and/or drug trafficking, and those with criminal records who are in the United States illegally.

Today’s operation involved over 200 federal law enforcement agents from all over New England, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations; Homeland Security Investigations; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Marshals Service; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

During the investigations, law enforcement officers bought or seized approximately 10 kilos of fentanyl.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Todd M. Lyons, Acting Field Office Director, Boston, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; United States Marshal John Gibbons of the District of Massachusetts; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; and Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett made the announcement today.

The federal cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys in Lelling’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit, Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, and the Major Crimes Unit. The state cases are being prosecuted by the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. Administrative arrests made by ICE will be handled in Immigration Court.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Oct. 3, 2018, marked one year since Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The following defendants were charged in federal court:
1) Johan Abreau, 23, a Dominical national, of Lawrence, charged with various drug offenses, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl;
2) Sabrina Aixa Ramos, 27, of Lawrence, charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl, two counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of fentanyl and heroin – aiding and abetting;
3) Carolina Alonzo, 36, of Lawrence, charged with one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments;
4) Oscar Antigua, 37, of Lawrence, charge with distribution of 40 or more grams of fentanyl;
5) Jose Aquino Camilo, a/k/a “Keko,” a/k/a “Kiko,” 39, of Lawrence, charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and one kilogram or more of heroin;
6) Santo Eulogio Baez-Calbojal, a/k/a “Jamaican Freddy,” 47, of Haverhill, charged with distribution of and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl;
7) Juan Brito, a/k/a “Juan Bota,” a/k/a “Manual Lugo,” a/k/a “One Eye,” a/k/a “Bolivar Cruz,” a/k/a “Roberto Quinonez-Pomale,” 36, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, currently in state custody, charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and one kilogram or more of heroin and one count of unlawful reentry of a deported alien;

8) Edilberto Calle-Alvarez, 23, of Lowell, charged with various drug offenses, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl;
9) Antonio Camillo, 21, of Lawrence, charged with distribution of and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl;
10) Rafael Cintron, 25, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl;
11) Carlos Cosme Cuevas, 34, of Lawrence, charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and one kilogram or more of heroin;
12) Caonabo Cruz, 52, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, charged with possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl;
13) Yunior De La Cruz-Zapata, 20, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, currently in state custody, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl;
14) Jesus Figueroa , a/k/a “Chuy,” a/k/a “Chuito,” 28, of Lawrence, charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and one kilogram or more of heroin;
15) Cesar Franco Lara, 34, Dominican national residing in Lawrence, charged with one count of misuse of Social Security number and aggravated identity theft;
16) Identity unknown, of Lawrence, charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and one kilogram or more of heroin and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments;
17) Jose Hernandez, a/k/a “Fatty Mexicano,” 40, of Lawrence, charged with various drug offenses, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl;
18) Elvi Lajara, 23, of Lawrence, currently in state custody, charged with various drug offenses, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl;
19) Franklyn Laras, 21, of Lawrence, currently in state custody, charged with felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition;
20) Sergio Manuel Lara-Suarez, a/k/a “Sergio Manuel Lara-Juarez,” 42, of Lawrence, currently in state custody, was charged with charged with heroin and fentanyl distribution offenses;
21) Alan Christopher Pascual Sanchez, 30, a Dominican national formerly residing in Lawrence, currently in ICE custody, charged with one count of illegal reentry;
22) Juan Algenis Perez Bernabel, 36, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, charged with drug offenses, including heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine;
23) Kadeem Pimentel, 23, of Haverhill, currently in state custody, charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun;
24) Jonathan Platon, 31, of Lawrence, charged with various drug offenses, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl;
25) Daniel De Jesus Polonia Morillo, 57, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, charged with one count of false statement on an application for Social Security benefits and aggravated identity theft;
26) Manuel Rivera, 35, of Lawrence/Lynn, for federal probation violation resulting from a felon in possession of a firearm convictions;
27) Wilmer Rogue, 22, of Lawrence, currently in state custody, charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
28) Leonardo Santos, 47, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, charged with a drug offense, specifically cocaine; and
29) Isua Torres-Pineda, a/k/a “Edwin Carmona,” 26, of Salem, charged with possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
The following defendants were arrested on state charges:
30) Nick Castillo, 29, a Canadian national, charged with fentanyl conspiracy;
31) Celestino Escalera, 24, of Lawrence, for assault to murder – firearm;
32) Luis Enrique Herrera, 26, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl;
33) Roberto Estrada-Alfaro, 54, of Haverhill, for failure to register as a sex offender;
34) Paul Lapointe, 55, of Lawrence, for failure to register as a sex offender; and
35) Jose Mulero-Nieves, a/k/a “Flaco,” 37, of Methuen, charged with drug offenses.

The following defendants, all of whom have prior convictions for offenses ranging from drug distribution to assault and battery, were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and will be processed administratively:

1) Juan Camilo-Paulino, 51, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence;
2) Lini Castillo-Soto, 22, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence;
3) Anthony Gil Jimenez, 23, a Dominican national residing in Andover;
4) Francis Guerrero Lugo, 37, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence;
5) Eddy Rafael Lara-Suarez, a/k/a “Eddy Lara,” 37, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence;
6) Margarito Manuel Lopez, 35, a Guatemalan national residing in Lawrence;
7) Carlos Martinez, 25, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence;
8) Segundo Maza-Leon, 44, an Ecuadoran national residing in Lawrence;
9) Edwin Pena, 35, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence;
10) Felix Perez-Almonte, 43, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence; and
11) Ramon Soto-Tejeda, 45, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence.

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