A dozen people were arrested and are being held without bail after authorities seized over four kilograms of suspected fentanyl and several firearms at what's being called a "stash house" in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Attorney General Maura Healey announced Friday that 12 people were arrested and arraigned on multiple drug and firearms charges following the joint state, local and federal takedown.
Authorities executed a search warrant at the Forest Street home on Thursday and seized approximately 4.5 kilograms in suspected fentanyl, five handguns, one rifle, seven large-capacity magazines, and ammunition, Healey said.
Just two milligrams of the synthetic opioid is considered a deadly dose. The drug, often mixed into counterfeit pills, has been identified by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration as a primary driver of overdose deaths across the nation.
Court documents revealed more details about the investigation Friday, describing how an undercover trooper bought drugs from one of the men connected to the Lawrence home four times over the last month. Thursday night, police set up another controlled buy and raided the home.
As police moved in, three people allegedly jumped out of an attic window, trying to escape, according to court documents. All were captured, along with several pill presses and other materials that indicate to investigators that the apartment was being used to process fentanyl in a neighborhood filled with families.
The Lawrence residents charged in connection with the drug trafficking operation are: Jordany Miguel Romero, 34; Jorge Luis Guzman Alvarez, 27; Modesto Reyes Alvarez, 33; Wilton Manuel Vittini Gonzalez, 27; Osiris Alexander Rodriguez Guzman, 28; Eduardo Alvarez Rodriguez, 28; Freddy Antonio Baez Nova, 39; Luis Alfredo Lara Ruiz, 28; Angel Sebastian Guerrero Sanquintin, 26; Julio Calderon-Colon, 40; Henry Alexander Guerrero, 30; and Manuel Alejandro Lara Ruiz, 31.
Each defendant was arraigned in Lawrence District Court on Friday and held without bail pending a further hearing on May 2. Their attorney information was not immediately available.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Jennifer Kirshenbaum and Christina Ronan of AG Healey’s Enterprise, Major and Cyber Crimes Division.
AG Healey said her office has prioritized combatting the opioid crisis and has been working closely with federal, state and local partners to fight illegal drug trafficking throughout New England. These charges are the result of an investigation by Healey’s New England Fentanyl Strike Force, which has seized more than 400 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl including tens of thousands of opioid pills and millions of dollars in cash and arrested more than 530 suspects since its launch in 2016, Healey's office said in a statement.