Joint operations by task forces run by the Massachusetts State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from local police last week resulted in the separate arrests of a fentanyl trafficker and a cocaine trafficker in Lawrence and Andover, respectively. Investigators seized significant quantities of narcotics in both operations.
A collaborative investigation by the North Unit of MSP’s Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction and Enforcement Team (CINRET-North) and DEA’s Cross Borders Initiative Task Force 4 (CBI-TF4) resulted in the delivery on Sept. 20, 2023, of 1,132 grams of fentanyl from a trafficker to an undercover agent in Lawrence. Following the delivery, the narcotics dealer, JACOBO MEDINA-MENDOZA, 39, of Lawrence, was arrested by Troopers and agents with assistance from the Lawrence Police Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit and MSP’s Troop A Community Action Team. MEDINA-MENDOZA was arraigned at Lawrence District Court. The case is being prosecuted by the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.
The next day, Sept. 21, 2023, CINRET-North and DEA CBI-TF4, again using an undercover agent, conducted a controlled purchase of four kilograms of cocaine in Andover. Following the transaction, task force members and Andover Police Officers arrested the trafficker, Rony VALENCIA-LOPEZ, 30, of New York. VALENCIA-LOPEZ is currently being held and is facing federal narcotics charges.
The MSP's CINRET-North and the DEA's CBI TF-4 have a longstanding partnership, which includes numerous joint-investigations and the addition of a CINRET-North Trooper to the DEA task force.
The State Police operate three regional CINRET task forces, one each in the northeastern, southeastern, and western sections of Massachusetts. The teams are led by MSP and include local police and sheriff’s department officers from each region and federal partners. The teams focus on interdicting illicit narcotics operations by focusing on the transport of the narcotics to, from, and within drug trafficking organizations.
The DEA's CBI TF-4 consists of DEA Agents and personnel from MSP CINRET-North, US Customs and Border Protection, and the Haverhill, Melrose, Lowell, Tewksbury, Nashua (NH), and Salem (NH) Police Departments.