New Bedford woman pleads guilty in drug-trafficking probe

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A New Bedford woman was sentenced to prison for her role in a drug distribution ring.

Crystal Hinson, 37, pleaded guilty last week to a charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin and was sentenced to 18-30 months in state prison, according to the office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III.

The DA’s office said investigators observed Hinson purchasing 85 grams of heroin from the Ortiz Drug Trafficking Organization over the course of about a week in June 2017.

Hinson was the first defendant to be convicted of crimes related to a year-long narcotics investigation dubbed “Operation High Stakes,” according to the DA’s office. The investigation resulted in 21 people being charged and 400 grams of heroin and fentanyl being seized along with a large amount of cash believed to be the proceeds of illegal drug sales.

Following Hinson’s arrest, the DA’s office said she was also charged and convicted of dealing heroin in Falmouth, for which she’s serving a three- to five-year prison sentence.

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