Police arrest 11 people accused of operating a fentanyl trafficking ring

SE Mass
New Bedford police cruiser generic

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Eleven New Bedford-area residents were charged Tuesday morning after allegedly being involved in a large-scale fentanyl trafficking ring, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office.

New Bedford residents Maria Carrion, 42, Orlando Badillo, 40, Pedro Cruz, 38, Samuel Lopez, 51, Kelly Rodrigues, 29, Robert Peguero, 48, Heather Cabral, 38, Lisa Telfair, 57 and Xiomara Rivera, 51, were charged with conspiracy to traffic fentanyl.

Elizabeth Andrews, 31, of Fairhaven was also charged with conspiracy to traffic fentanyl and Alberto Suazo, of Easton, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a class B drug.

The DA’s office said Badillo was targeted by investigators as the alleged leader of the fentanyl trafficking organization and Peguero was targeted as an alleged supplier. During the execution of several search warrants Tuesday morning, detectives found large quantities of fentanyl and thousands of dollars in cash.

The Attorney General Maura Healey’s Fentanyl Strike Force was awarded a $3 million grant to help fight the opioid epidemic and fentanyl trafficking in Massachusetts to fund the operation.

The arrests follow an increase in overdose deaths in the New Bedford area. The DA’s office reported three people died of suspected overdose deaths in one day earlier this month.

“I am very pleased that this successful investigation has led to the arrest of several people involved in a large-scale fentanyl trafficking ring,” Quinn said. “We will continue to invest significant resources to take down the individuals who continue to be engaged in this lethal business.”

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