30 indicted in fentanyl-trafficking bust in Mass.
LAWRENCE, Mass. — Federal authorities say more than two dozen people are facing charges after the dismantling of a drug distribution ring in Massachusetts.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said Tuesday the 30 indictments are part of a yearlong investigation dubbed “Operation Bad Company” that targeted the fentanyl, heroin and cocaine trafficking ring in the state. Officials called it “one of the largest fentanyl trafficking organizations ever seen in Massachusetts.”
Authorities say the defendants have been indicted for drug trafficking, gun possession and immigration offenses.
Authorities say the raid in the Lawrence area led to the seizure of more than two kilograms of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and six guns.
The investigation involved more than 200 local, state and federal law enforcement officials.
Lawrence, a former mill town, is about 30 miles north of Boston, near the New Hampshire border.
The alleged leaders of the ring, Juan Anibal Patrone, 26, and Josuel Moises Patrone-Gonzalez, 22, are dual citizens of the Dominican Republic and Italy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts. It was not clear whether either of the two had hired an attorney.
A spike in overdose deaths linked to heroin, fentanyl and other opioid drugs has prompted a national crackdown on the trade by law enforcement. Heroin-related overdose deaths quadrupled from 2010 to 2015, when they hit 13,000, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.