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Operation Targets Merrimack Valley Trafficking Organization, Seizes More than 18 Kilos of Fentanyl


A joint operation undertaken last Thursday by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Massachusetts State Police, several local police departments, and federal law enforcement agents resulted in the execution of search warrants at seven locations in Lawrence, Lynn and Methuen and the arrests of several suspected Fentanyl traffickers. During the searches, Troopers, Officers, and Agents seized more than 18 kilograms of Fentanyl, two unlawfully-possessed semi-automatic pistols, and a portable hydraulic compartment used to hide narcotics.


“Operation Philly Special” was the result of a lengthy investigation conducted by the State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction and Enforcement Team (CINRET), Troopers assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, federal Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Salem, New Hampshire Police, under the direction of Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell’s Office.


The investigation, which began in November 2022 based on information provided by the Salem, New Hampshire Police Department, focused on a Lawrence-based drug trafficking organization that was supplying Fentanyl throughout the Merrimack Valley. Investigators utilized various investigative techniques including traditional and electronic surveillance, data analysis, and court-authorized electronic intercepts of target cell phones. As a result of information developed through these methods, investigators obtained search warrants for five locations in Lawrence and one each in Lynn and Methuen.


On the morning of Thursday, September 7, the investigative team comprised of Troopers from CINRET and the Attorney General’s Office, HSI agents, Salem, New Hampshire Police detectives – accompanied by the State Police Special Tactical Operations (STOP) Team, Troop A Community Action Team, and multiple other investigative units, an HSI tactical team, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration EA agents, and Lynn, Haverhill, Lawrence, and Methuen Police Officers – executed the warrants.


At one target location in Lawrence, as State Police STOP Team members 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 (CLET) from the state Department of Fire Services respond to the scene with specialized apparatus and testing equipment.


Wearing full-body Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), CLET operators entered the apartment and collected multiple samples of exposed substances that tested positive for Fentanyl. CLET operators and CINRET Troopers, also wearing PPE, also collected additional suspected Fentanyl packaged in bags and multiple presses used to compact and shape the drug prior to packaging and distribution. CLET members decontaminated multiple items to minimize the threat of Fentanyl exposure to officers. Members of the Lawrence Inspectional Services and Health Departments responded to the scene to investigate code violations at the house and condemned the third-floor apartment.


As a result of the search warrants, investigators seized approximately 18.25 kilograms of Fentanyl, two semi-automatic pistols, approximately $10,000 suspected to be drug trafficking proceeds, a Mercedes Benz vehicle, and a portable hydraulic compartment suspected of having been used to secrete drugs and money.


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.


The below arrestees were arraigned for the listed charges in Lawrence District Court:

RAFAEL SALDANA DIAS, 26, of Lawrence

Trafficking a Class A substance, over 36 grams (4 counts)

Trafficking a Class A substance, over 200 grams (1 count)

Conspiracy (1 count)

Bail set for $250,000


YOSMEIRY MARTINEZ RAMON, 21, of Lawrence

Trafficking a Class A substance, over 200 grams (1 count)

Conspiracy (1 count)

Bail set for $2,500


FREDDY ALEXANDER SUAZO TEJEDA, 36, of Lawrence

Trafficking a Class A substance, over 200 grams (1 count)

Conspiracy (1 count)

Bail set for $100,000


RAFELIN LUGO TEJEDA, 32, of Lawrence

Trafficking a Class A substance, over 200 grams (1 count)

Conspiracy (1 count)

Bail set for $100,000


YAHANNYS ANZIANI, 34, of Lawrence

Unlawful Possession of Firearm (1 count)

Unlawful Possession of Ammunition (1 count)

Child Endangerment (1 count)

Bail set for $2,500


AUGUST MOSCAT, 39, of Lawrence

Unlawful Possession of Firearm (1 count)

Unlawful Possession of Ammunition (1 count)

Child Endangerment (1 count)

Bail set for $2,500


HENDERSON MARTINEZ, 34, of Lawrence

Trafficking a Class A substance, over 36 grams (1 count)

Bail set for $100,000


WILKIN ANTONIO PEREZ, 26, of Lawrence

Trafficking a Class A substance, over 200 grams (1 count)

Bail set for $10,000


MARCOS SANTOS, 37, of Lawrence

Conspiracy (1 count)

Released on personal recognizance


The below arrestee was arraigned on the list charges in Lynn District Court:

MIGUEL MEDRANO, 55, of Lynn

Trafficking of Class A substance, over 200 grams (1 count)

Bail set for $250,000


The below individual will be arraigned in Lynn District Court on the listed offense at a later date:

HENDERSON MARTIN, 34, of Lawrence

Trafficking of Class A substance, over 200 grams (1 count)


The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Division Chief Christina Ronan and Assistant Attorney General Gretchen Brodigan of the AG’s Enterprise & Major Crimes Division.


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