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Massachusetts State Police, Partner Agencies, Dismantle Multi-State Drug Trafficking Organization

Last fall Massachusetts State Police investigative units opened an investigation into a drug trafficking organization that was selling large quantities of high-potency, un-cut fentanyl, as well as cocaine, throughout parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. The investigation, which grew to include Rhode Island State Police, Nashua, N.H., Police, and several local Massachusetts police departments, culminated in late March with the arrests of three traffickers and a warrant for a fourth who is currently outside the United States.


Through multiple undercover drug buys and search warrants, investigators seized a total of 7,065 grams of fentanyl, 916 grams of cocaine, 43 grams of methamphetamine, four firearms, several large-capacity magazines, more than 100 rounds of ammunition and two vehicles.


The investigation’s primary target was WILMER TEJEDA-CRUZ, 31, of Pawtucket, who oversaw the drug trafficking organization. The Massachusetts charges are being prosecuted by Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell’s office.


The investigation – which was begun by the MSP’s Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction and Enforcement Team’s South Unit (CINRET-South), the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, and the State Police Gang Unit, with the assistance of federal Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) –  utilized court-authorized communications intercepts, physical and electronic surveillance, and ten controlled purchases of fentanyl from TEJEDA-CRUZ or his associates by an undercover Massachusetts State Trooper.


The undercover buys ranged in volume from 11 grams up to 2,000 grams and were conducted by TEJEDA-CRUZ or one of his two identified runners, JOSE BELLO, 39, of Dedham, and JOSE MARTINEZ, 31, of Boston.


During the course of the investigation, Troopers and agents developed intelligence indicating that a New Hampshire man, RICHARD JOHNSON, 50, of Nashua, was a high-level customer of TEJADA-CRUZ’s organization. Evidence indicates that JOHNSON utilized TEJEDA-CRUZ as a supplier for fentanyl that JOHNSON would re-sell in Nashua.

On the morning of March 21, 2024, the undercover Trooper purchases two kilograms of fentanyl from TEJEDA-CRUZ for $27,000 at a location in Foxboro. After the controlled purchase was completed, TEJEDA-CRUZ was picked up by a ride-share vehicle. Investigators followed and stopped the vehicle and placed TEJEDA-CRUZ under arrest. At that time, law enforcement teams in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire simultaneously executed seven search warrants.


Investigators arrested JOHNSON in New Hampshire and BELLO in Boston. MARTINEZ is believed to be out of the country and is currently being sought.


Among the locations searched were TEJEDA-CRUZ’s Pawtucket home and a stash house he used in Taunton. Searches of both properties resulted in the seizure of thousands of grams of fentanyl; hundreds of grams of cocaine; 37 oxycodone pills; two high-capacity magazines (one with a 31-round capacity, the other capable of holding 50 rounds); two boxes of ammunition; presses, material used to cut (dilute) the drugs to stretch out the amount to be sold, and other drug packaging equipment; and approximately $26,000 in United States currency suspected of being proceeds from drug trafficking. A Honda Odyssey van was also seized.

Search warrants were also executed at BELLO’s Dedham apartment and MARTINEZ’s apartment in Boston’s South End, resulting in the seizure of electronic equipment, a ledger, and another vehicle were seized, and at JOHNSON’S Nashua, N.H., home. At JOHNSON’s house, investigators seized nearly 100 more grams of fentanyl, approximately 137 grams of cocaine, 43 grams of methamphetamine, two semi-automatic handguns, a revolver, a shotgun, and approximately $6,000 in United States currency suspected of being proceeds from drug trafficking. Search warrants were also executed at a residence and garage in southeastern Massachusetts connected to another of TEJEDA-CRUZ’s customer.


TEJEDA-CRUZ was arraigned in late March on a charge of trafficking fentanyl over 200 grams. He will be arraigned at a later date on the following charges: trafficking fentanyl over 200 grams, conspiracy to violate narcotics laws, trafficking cocaine over 200 grams, unlawful possession of ammunition, and possession of a large capacity feeding device, two counts. BELLO was arraigned on charges of trafficking fentanyl over 200 grams and conspiracy to violate narcotics laws. If convicted on the fentanyl trafficking charges, TEJEDA-CRUZ and BELLO face a 12-year mandatory minimum state prison sentence with a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison.  


JOHNSON faces charges in New Hampshire for trafficking fentanyl, trafficking cocaine, trafficking methamphetamine, and unlawful firearm and ammunition possession.


The investigation was the result of successful collaboration between several Massachusetts State Police units, HSI, Rhode Island State Police, and Nashua, N.H., Police. Also providing valuable assistance in the arrests and search warrant executions were the MSP Special Tactical Operations Team, Troop D Community Action Team, Narcotics Section, and State Police Detective Units for Bristol and Norfolk Counties, as well as the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s enforcement division and the Middleboro, Plainville, Somerset, Dedham, Boston, Swansea, Freetown, Foxboro, Brockton, and East Bridgewater Police Departments.



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