Home Boston Press Releases 2009 Ten Individuals Charged with Trafficking Heroin and Cocaine in Western Massachusetts

Ten Individuals Charged with Trafficking Heroin and Cocaine in Western Massachusetts

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 16, 2009
  • District of Massachusetts (617) 748-3100

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Federal charges were unsealed today against nine members of a heroin distribution ring operating in Holyoke and Springfield.

Acting United States Attorney Michael Loucks; Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett; Acting United States Marshal David Taylor; Glenn N. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Colonel Mark F. Delaney, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Chief Bruce W. McMahon of the Easthampton Police Department; Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet of the Springfield Police Department; Chief Thomas E. Burke of the West Springfield Police Department; Chief Anthony R. Scott of the Holyoke Police Department; Chief John Ferraro of the Chicopee Police Department; and Sheriff Michael J. Ashe, Jr., of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, announced today the unsealing of a federal superseding indictment charging a total of nine individuals with conspiring to distribute heroin. The superseding indictment also charges coconspirators with distributing heroin, distributing cocaine, and unlawful firearm possession. A second indictment was also unsealed charging a New York City man separately with conspiracy to distribute heroin.

The charges are the result of a joint effort among federal and local law enforcement agencies to dismantle a heroin trafficking ring operating in Springfield and Holyoke, Massachusetts. In 2008, a DEA Task Force, comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement, began focusing on a heroin ring operating in Western Massachusetts. The investigation included federal wiretap intercepts, controlled purchases of heroin, recovery of heroin and cocaine during arrests, and extensive surveillance of the co-defendants. In March 2009, the investigators executed 19 search warrants in Western, MA and New York. During the searches, the investigators seized more than one kilogram of heroin, cocaine, and several firearms.

The Superseding Indictment charges the following individuals:

  1. John ALICEA-BURGOS, age 34, of 140 Chestnut Street in Springfield, is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, seven counts of distributing heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841, and being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g). ALICEABURGOS faces a maximum term of life imprisonment. As previously indicated in federal court, the investigation has revealed that ALICEA-BURGOS was the Western Massachusetts leader of this conspiracy, and it is alleged that ALICEABURGOS regularly received large shipments of heroin from New York from 2008 through his arrest in March 2009. He is charged with distributing this heroin in Western Massachusetts, at times from his place of business Goodfellas Barbershop on Main Street in Holyoke.
  2. Hector PAGAN, age 35, of One Beacon Avenue, Holyoke, is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and two counts of distributing heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. PAGAN faces a maximum term of 40 years imprisonment.
  3. Alex TORRES, age 32, of 714 Chicopee Street, Chicopee, MA, is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and two counts of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. TORRES faces a maximum term of 40 years imprisonment.
  4. Rosa TORRES, age 37, of 126 Center Street, Holyoke, is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and one count of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. TORRES faces a maximum term of 40 years imprisonment.
  5. Willie COLON, age 45, of 11 Crestview Street, Fitchburg, is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and one count of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. COLON faces a maximum term of life imprisonment.
  6. Luis CARRILLO, age 40, of 34 East Court, Holyoke, MA, is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and two counts of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. CARRILLO faces a maximum term of life imprisonment.
  7. Angel AVILES, age 43, of 116 Middlesex, Springfield, MA, is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and two counts of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. AVILES faces a maximum term of life imprisonment.
  8. Jose GONZALEZ, age 41, of 33 Plante Circle, Chicopee, MA, is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and one count of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. GONZALEZ faces a maximum term of life imprisonment.
  9. Jason ALICEA, age 30, of 671 High Street, Holyoke, MA, is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and one count of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. ALICEA faces a maximum term of forty years imprisonment.

The second Indictment charges one defendant as follows:

  1. Christian BIANCAARDI, age 35, of 15 Hazen Street, East Elmhusrt, N.Y. is charged with one count of conspiring to distribute heroin. in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846. BIANCARDI faces a maximum term of life imprisonment.

“I would like to assure the hard-working and law abiding citizens in western Massachusetts that we will continue to investigate and prosecute the criminal activities of drug rings so that they, and their children, can feel safe in their community. I hope that today’s charges send a clear message that the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in close partnership with our local, state and federal partners, will continue to aggressively target drug dealing and trafficking into our communities,” stated U.S. Attorney Loucks.

“Our message today is straight forward, if you sell heroin in Springfield, be prepared to get arrested and inevitably go to prison. We will not allow the streets of our communities to become drug havens. Ten individuals were indicted today, but these indictments don't end our investigations rather they open up new avenues of inquiry which we will exploit to pursue and cripple these trafficking organizations,” said Steven Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“The Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force remains committed not only to eradicating our communities of gang violence and the drug trafficking activity that fuels such violence, but also to identifying, disrupting and dismantling the organizations that supply drugs to violent street gangs,” said Warren Bamford Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bamford continued, “Operation Street Cutter demonstrates how a collective effort between Federal, state, and local law enforcement partners brings results in keeping drugs out of our communities.”

District Attorney William M. Bennett said, “This was a very effective investigation involving many agencies united by a common goal of protecting our community from drug dealers and the violence associated with their activities.”

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the members of the Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force for their commitment and unprecedented cooperation in reducing violent crime in the City of Springfield and our neighboring towns. This investigation is an excellent example of how effective good communication and information-sharing between law enforcement can lead to success and benefit our community,” said Commissioner Fitchet of the Springfield Police Department.

Chief Scott of the Holyoke Police Department said, “I wish to thank and commend the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies involved in this operation. It is because of these individuals who put their lives on the line day-in and day-out that our streets are safe. The sharing of information and the implementation of joint operations such as this gives us the ability to identify, apprehend and successfully prosecute criminals who believe they can conduct their nefarious operations with impunity. I extend my thanks and appreciation to our local Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are dedicated to making the streets of our local communities safe.”

This investigation was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”). The OCDETF Program is a combined effort by numerous federal agencies dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of the most serious drug offenders in the District of Massachusetts. This case was investigated by the DEA, the FBI, the Springfield, West Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee Police Departments, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office. The federal cases will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Regan in Loucks’ Springfield Office.

The details contained in the Superseding Indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.