Monday, February 12, 2018

Sinaloa Cartel: Massachusetts biggest drug bust 33 pounds of fentanyl

Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat from Boston Herald

Enough drug to kill every man, woman and child in the state 

Federal agents and Boston police have seized more than 33 pounds of fentanyl — enough of the deadly synthetic opioid to theoretically kill every man, woman and child in Massachusetts — funneled in by Mexico’s  Sinaloa cartel.

Allowed wiretaps after
being busted
A lengthy wiretap operation by a joint task force including Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Boston police resulted in an

early-morning sweep of the drugs and 37 suspects, including alleged kingpin Robert Contreras, 42, of Roxbury.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley called the investigation “one of the longest, most far-reaching and most successful state wiretap investigations in Massachusetts history. ... But it did not stop there. It continued up the ladder to identify a second group at the top of the domestic pyramid, one with direct ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.”

Contreras was ordered held on $1 million bail during his arraignment yesterday on charges of trafficking fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.
The six-month investigation first led to the arrest late last year of Edward Soto-Perez, 43, of Roxbury, who led a group that would distribute drugs obtained from Contreras throughout Massachusetts and as far away as Pennyslvania, Conley said.

Robert Contreras is the direct link to Sinaloa Cartel
“We allege that the Contreras organization worked with members of the Sinaloa cartel, one of the most powerful drug-trafficking organizations in the world, who imported huge quantities of narcotics into the northeastern United States,” Conley said. “In fact, we believe they were so high in the distribution structure that the next level up would take us outside the United States. Evidence suggests that the Contreras organization would receive those cartel narcotics and distribute them to the Soto-Perez group and others, who would in turn supply lower-level dealers.”

In total, 77 pounds of drugs were seized, including heroin, cocaine and opiate tablets in addition to the fentanyl. Authorities said they confiscated $300,000 in drug money.

Michael J. Ferguson, DEA’s special agent in charge of the New England Division, likened fentanyl to a weapon of mass destruction.

“You take a sweetener packet that has 1,000 milligrams in it that you put in a cup of coffee. It takes only two milligrams and it’s lights out for an individual,” Ferguson said. “We’re talking a couple of grains of salt or sand. It can kill you if you inject it in your arm, if you snort it up your nose or simply breathe it in the air. Drug traffickers are now lacing fentanyl not just with heroin, but with cocaine as well. As well as in pain pills, counterfeit pain pills made to look like Percocet.”

The 33 pounds of fentanyl seized is enough to kill more than 7 million people in its raw form, a law enforcement source told the Herald. The Bay State’s population is 6.8 million, census figures show.