Tewksbury Police Smash Major Drug Trafficking Ring
Nov 10, 2017 05:56PM
● By Bill Gilman
TEWKSBURY – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Tewksbury Chief of Police Timothy Sheehan have announced that three individuals were arraigned Friday in Lowell District Court in connection with the alleged trafficking of fentanyl and cocaine.
“As we continue to work aggressively to combat the opioid epidemic, cases like these are a reminder of the importance of multi-agency collaboration,” said Ryan. “Part of my office’s multi-pronged approach to combating the opioid epidemic is enforcement, specifically targeting well-organized and large-scale drug enterprises. Additionally, the presence of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid even more potent than heroin, makes this seizure extremely significant given the deadly nature of this substance.”
“We are very proud of (our department's) efforts in shutting down this significant drug trafficking operation in our community and very appreciative of the collaboration between our department, the State Police Detective Unit, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Billerica Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration during this investigation," said Chief Sheehan. "We are hopeful that the seizure of this massive quantity of the powerfully addictive/deadly opioid (fentanyl) and stimulant (cocaine) in Tewksbury, as well as the diligent prosecution of these alleged offenders that are spreading this poison, will significantly reduce the number of future overdoses and related fatalities."
Wilson Soto was charged with trafficking over 200 grams of cocaine, trafficking in fentanyl, conspiracy to violate the drug
laws, identity fraud and possessing a false RMV document. Judge John Coffey set bail at $500,000 cash. Should the defendant make bail Judge Coffey ordered him to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, to remain under house arrest and to surrender his passport.
Yojanel Soto was charged with trafficking over 200 grams of cocaine, trafficking fentanyl and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. Judge Coffey set bail at $50,000 cash and ordered the defendant, should he make bail, to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, to remain under house arrest and to surrender his passport.
Cristina Richardson was charged with trafficking over 200 grams of cocaine, trafficking fentanyl and conspiracy to violate the drug
laws. Judge Coffey set bail at $25,000 cash. Should the defendant post bail, she is ordered to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, to remain under house arrest and to surrender her passport.
The next scheduled hearing in this case is Dec. 14.
According to information provided by Sheehan:
On Nov. 9, at approximately 6:00 a.m. the Tewksbury Police Department, with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Billerica Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant on an Ames Hill Drive residence in Tewksbury.
As a result, Wilson Soto, 49, Yojanel Soto, 20, and Cristina Richardson 48, all of Ames Hill Drive, Tewksbury were placed under arrest after authorities allegedly located 950 grams of cocaine, 86 grams of suspected fentanyl and over $8,000 in cash inside the residence.
In addition, a search warrant was executed on a vehicle taken from the scene in which 558 grams of fentanyl and 99 grams of cocaine were allegedly located.
In total, 1,049 grams (1.05 kilo) of cocaine and 558 grams of fentanyl were seized as a result of this investigation with an estimated street value of approximately $100,000.
Additionally, a 9-month-old child was found in the house when the search warrant was executed. The Department of Children and Families was notified and the child was subsequently taken to a relative’s home elsewhere.
These charges are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The prosecutors assigned to this case are Assistant District Attorneys Graham Van Epps and Cyrus Chung.
This is an ongoing investigation and additional charges may issue.
The Tewksbury Police Department urges any citizens who suspect criminal activity to call the Dispatch Center @ 978-851-7373. If you wish to remain anonymous please call the Tip Line @ 978-851-0175 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org