Sunday, December 19, 2010

Man who trafficked tons of marijuana to Fall River, Providence sentenced

A Providence man accused of leading a marijuana trafficking operation in Fall River and Providence has been sentenced to nearly two decades in a federal prison.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Jeremy Barnes, 36, was sentenced to 17½ years, to be followed by five years of supervised release and a $50,000 fine, for conspiracy to distribute at least 50 kilograms of marijuana and distribution of marijuana in March 2006. Barnes had previously pleaded guilty to the charges stemming from a joint investigation by federal and local authorities aimed at reducing large-scale drug dealing in southern Massachusetts and Providence.

Prosecutors described Barnes as the leader of a large-scale marijuana distribution operation who obtained marijuana and cocaine from co-conspirators in California and elsewhere.

According to the Department of Justice, Chief Judge Mark Wolf found that Barnes and his California co-conspirators transported tons of marijuana from California to New England via tractor-trailers, small trucks and express mail packages.

After finding Barnes responsible for distributing at least 2,700 kilograms of marijuana, worth millions of dollars, and cocaine, Wolf sentenced Barnes to 210 months in prison.

According to the Department of Justice, the Fall River, Tiverton and Bristol, R.I., police departments and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Providence field office played pivotal roles in the investigation.

E-mail Will Richmond at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Man's eyebrow raising mug shot... taken just after he 'swallowed an entire bag of cocaine'

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:29 PM on 3rd December 2010

He'd better be careful the wind doesn't change or his face may stay that way.

This bizarre mug shot was taken of 18-year-old Art Taylor - just minutes after he allegedly swallowed an entire bag of cocaine.

Taylor was driving his car in Massachusetts when police witnessed him making the minor traffic offence.

They pulled him over - and became suspicious when Taylor refused to give them his license or registration.

Enlarge Art Taylor was suspected of swallowing a bag of cocaine in  Massachusetts

Freaked out: Art Taylor, 18, from Massachusetts was pulled over for a minor traffic offence when he allegedly swallowed a bag of cocaine

Then, suddenly, he darted in to action.

'He made a quick movement to the centre console, and there was a small baggie with a white powder in it', Police spokesperson Ron Brandolini said.

He added: 'He immediately made a movement to put it in his mouth'.

Officers then struggled with the teenager to stop him from swallowing the bag of white powder but to no avail.

The officers were eventually able to handcuff Taylor and remove him from the car, but he had already swallowed what was believed to have been cocaine.

Taylor was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct, and not using a turn signal.

But no drugs charges were brought against him - as there was no evidence.

Police used a dog to search the car for other drugs but nothing was found.

Taylor pleaded not guilty at Framingham District Court yesterday and was released without bail. He is due back in court January 6 for a pretrial conference.

Read more:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Melrose Police arrest three amid drug investigation

A lengthy investigation into drug activity in the Melrose Highlands led to the arrests last week of two alleged drug dealers from Lynn, and a Melrose man wanted on a default warrant who police say met with the pair outside his home on Marvin Road while they were transporting narcotics in their vehicle.

The arrests followed weeks of police surveillance in the Marvin Road area, near the Melrose Highlands MBTA Commuter Rail station, during which time the Marvin Road resident emerged as a suspect in the investigation, Melrose Police Lt. Mark DeCroteau told theFree Press this week.

Detectives were monitoring the area near the man’s house last Wednesday, Nov. 24, at about 8 p.m. when DeCroteau said he was observed the man speaking with Lynn residents Rubell Cornelio, 28, and Christopher Hernandez, 20, who were parked outside his home.

Melrose detectives stopped the group and questioned them at approximately 8 p.m., and searched the vehicle driven by Cornelio and Hernandez. DeCroteau said police discovered an unspecified quantity of an illegal substance inside the car, and both men were arrested and charged with possession of a class A drug with intent to distribute. Under Massachusetts law, the class A drug category includes ketamine, opiates, and opium derivatives, including heroin, among other substances.

Testing has not been completed to confirm the identity of the drugs found in the car, and DeCroteau declined to comment on the nature of the substance until test results are returned. He also declined to comment on the quantity that was seized, where the substance was found, or how it was stored, citing an ongoing investigation by the Melrose Police Department.

Cornelio and Hernandez were booked at the Melrose Police station and released on $100 cash bail. They were scheduled to be arraigned in Malden District Court on Friday, Nov. 26.

The Marvin Road resident was also arrested on a default warrant out of Malden District Court. He was released on $200 cash bail.

Email Jim Haddadin at

Monday, November 29, 2010

Medford Man Gets 15 Years in Cocaine Bust

A Medford man has been found guilty in connection with the 2008 seizure of about nine kilograms of cocaine whose street value was estimated as $720,000 to $900,000, the office Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone reported Monday, Nov. 22.

Heriberto Cruz, 43, of was found guilty Nov. 19 after a jury trial on charges of conspiracy and trafficking cocaine of more than 200 grams. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Tuttman sentenced Cruz to 15-18 years in state prison.

"These were significant arrests at the time that resulted in nine kilograms of cocaine being seized and taken off the streets of Medford," Leone said. "Illegal drug trafficking is a supply and demand business that is has a tremendously negative impact and adversely affects the quality of life in our communities.

"To make a significant impact in this area, we will continue to actively investigate and prosecute significant drug distribution crimes to reduce the supply side, while actively partnering on the intervention and prevention side to reduce demand. I want to thank the DEA and Medford P.D. for their cooperative effort in this investigation."

The case of Cruz’s codefendant, Patricia Taia, was still pending and her next court date was due to be Nov. 22 for a status review.

According to authorities, on Saturday, July 19, 2008, the Boston office of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) contacted the Middlesex PACT Unit regarding the seizure of nine kilograms of cocaine.

Based on information obtained after further investigation, two days later, a search warrant was obtained by the PACT Unit to be executed at Cruz’s residence. On execution of the search warrant, 7 kilograms of cocaine were found within Cruz’s house, with an additional 2 kilograms found in Patricia Taia’s SUV parked in the driveway. Both defendants were arrested and charged at that time.

Authorities also seized $100,000 in US currency found in the house and in a safe deposit box belonging to the defendants.

The arrests and seizures were the result of an investigation conducted by the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney's PACT Unit, the Boston office of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Medford Police Department.

The assistant district attorney assigned to this case is David Solet.


Two men arrested in connection to the murder Thursday don’t want to show their faces in court.

Lawyers for Charles Douglas Mendez and Tacoma Massie asked District Court Chief Judge Gilbert Nadeau to allow Mendez and Massie to remain in their cells rather than go before the camera set up in District Court for their arraignment Friday.

“There is an identification issue,” lawyer James Powderly argued. “There were two civilian witnesses on the scene. Descriptions were not given.
“Bringing out my client now would compromise that identification.”

Lawyer Daniel Igo said he would make the same argument for his client.
Judge Nadeau said he would rule on the motion when court reconvenes at 2 p.m. Neither defendant was brought into court in the morning session.

Mendez, 28, of Barnaby Street, and Massie, 29, of Hope Street, were arrested on Kellogg Street shortly after police discovered the body of Edward Platts, 31 of Middletown, R.I., who had been shot and killed while sitting in his car outside Building 11 of the Father Diaferio Village housing complex, 220 Johnson St., Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

Mendez and Massie were charged with illegally carrying a firearm.
Those charges were not changed during the morning session. Both defendants qualify for a court appointed lawyer. Because it is possible that more serious charges could be filed, Nadeau asked Clerk Magistrate Karen Eng to appoint lawyers who have the certifications necessary to try cases in Superior Court as an appointed lawyer.

Robert Kidd, a senior prosecutor in District Attorney Sam Sutter’s office, appeared on behalf of the prosecution.

The arraignment is scheduled to resume at 2 p.m. today.

E-mail Kevin P. O’Connor at

Friday, August 27, 2010

Maine Coast Drug Crackdown Makes Dents

By Abigail Curtis
BDN Staff

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a periodic series of articles a year in the making that examines the effects of drug abuse in Maine.

Read Part One:

Drugs weigh heavily on Maine's poorest area, Washington County

ROCKLAND, Maine — Even though Knox County is a far cry from the rough streets of Baltimore, just as the cops featured on the HBO series “The Wire,” Detective Reggie Walker of the Knox County Sheriff’s Department knows his way around a stakeout.

Walker has logged many hours in his unmarked police car, waiting patiently with his camera and computer close at hand, trying to catch people in the act of making an illegal prescription drug deal.

“You just wait, and wait, and wait and see,” Walker said recently from his crowded office. “It gets really boring sometimes.”

All that waiting and seeing has been leading to many more arrests lately for people caught dealing prescription drugs illegally in midcoast Maine.

Investigations of prescription drug deals — including opiates such as OxyContin, oxycodone, Percocet and Vicodin — are making up almost half of the caseload of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency’s Mid-Coast Regional Task Force, according to Special Agent Supervisor James Pease.

“We’re always trying to figure out what the next move is, trying to figure out where they’re getting new drugs from,” Pease said.

“Everybody in this job is trying to stay ahead and combat whatever’s next.”

Pease oversees a large swath of the Maine coast, from Waldo County down to the town of Brunswick, and said that business in his territory has been booming. There was a 37 percent increase in prescription drug arrests last year with 240 arrests in Waldo, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties and Brunswick and 180 arrests in 2008, he said. That is greater than the 25 percent increase in arrests in 2009 over 2008 for the state as a whole.

Why are there so many arrests and drug seizures in midcoast Maine? Pease has an answer.

“I think we have a very, very, very strong inter-agency cooperation,” he said. “We do not work a case where there are no other departments working side by side with us.”

Although years ago there were incidents of inter-agency jealousy, that’s not the case now, Pease said.

“It’s working awesome. It can’t get any better than it is right now,” he said. “I’m not going to say we’re winning, but it’s working.”

Their latest victory included the apprehension of John Wall, 45, of South Thomaston, a man police say supplied cocaine to drug dealers in Rockland. According to police, Wall fled the area earlier in the year after he realized he was under investigation.

Wall, who has an extensive criminal record including burglary and possession of cocaine, was found hiding at a home in Monmouth. He was charged with trafficking cocaine and violating bail conditions.

Wall’s Aug. 10 arrest — and the earlier arrests of the dealers to whom he allegedly provided drugs — also was the result of interagency cooperation.

The seven special drug enforcement agents based in Pease’s Rockland office work cooperatively with sheriff’s detectives such as Walker and with law enforcement officials from municipal police departments up and down the coast.

His agents concentrate on investigating larger-scale prescription drug dealers rather than those who illegally sell their own prescription pills.

Tools of their trade include Google Earth maps and cameras equipped with long telephoto lenses, Walker said. He used those recently in Warren when doing surveillance on a suspected prescription drug dealer.

Though police weren’t able to arrest the dealer that day, they were able to nab one of his customers, a young woman who had 24 Percocets in her possession.

“They’re doing a lot of pills,” Walker said. “You can’t ignore it. It’s just there. You’ve got to take care of it. It’s almost like coke and heroin are peripheral drugs now.”

Along with a gradual shift in the type of illicit drugs that are most commonly sold is a change in the ways that prescription pills are sold, Pease said. Larger amounts of prescription pills have been coming into Maine from out of state, Pease said, especially from Massachusetts and Florida.

“We see a lot of people that go around and buy. They’re true dealers,” he said. “They just go and have a bunch of customers and sell the pills for profit to other people.”

Pease recalled the arrest last summer of Shane Goodwin, a Richmond man who flew to Florida every month to pick up “several hundred oxy 80s” and methadone pills. When Goodwin returned to Maine to sell them, he made as much as $7,000 each month.

“It would definitely be a multi-million dollar business, all in all, over my counties, definitely,” Pease said of the business.

Illegal usage of prescription drugs generates trouble in addition to the profits, according to Pease, who used to be a Rockland Police Department detective. During his tenure with that department, 85 percent of the city’s burglaries were related to either drugs or alcohol.

“A lot of times, the victims of these crimes are relatives and family members, stealing from mom, stealing from dad,” Pease said. “They say that drug trafficking is a victimless crime, but you have victims all over the board.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alleged ‘major player’ in Taunton drug ring held on $100,000 bail

By Gerry Tuoti
Posted Aug 24, 2010 @ 11:42 PM

A city man accused of being one of Taunton’s major drug dealers is being held in lieu of $100,000 cash bail after he was arrested in Connecticut as part of a two-month-long state police investigation.

Thomas Jeffreys, 31, who has addresses listed in both Taunton and Fall River, was arrested by Connecticut state police Monday and brought back to Massachusetts, where he is charged with 17 counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws. He was arraigned Tuesday in Taunton District Court.

“He was arrested at a hotel in Stonington, Conn., (Monday) morning after we contacted Connecticut state police about his known whereabouts,” said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney’s office. “The arrest was made without incident.”

Teisha Johnson, 26, of Middleboro, who according to police reports is the mother of Jeffrey’s child, was also reportedly arrested in Connecticut in connection to the drug investigation.

There are no indications that they were trying to flee, Miliote said, adding that unconfirmed information suggested they were in Connecticut to visit Foxwoods casino.

Authorities say Jeffreys was one of the main targets of the drug investigation, which relied heavily on court-ordered wiretaps and involved 13 different law enforcement agencies.

The investigation culminated Monday morning with a flurry of 15 arrests in Taunton and Raynham.

In a court document explaining his reasons for setting bail, Judge David Turcotte referenced Jeffreys’ extensive criminal record and “history of drug distribution.” The document also said the defendant is accused of being a “major player” in Taunton and a “large-scale cocaine dealer.”

State police say they have 16 recorded phone calls dating back to July 12 in which Jeffreys can be heard arranging drug deals in and around Taunton.

Jeffreys is due back in court Sept. 28.

Two other men who were major targets of the wiretap investigation were arraigned Monday in Taunton District Court.

Jose Fernandes, 24, of Taunton, was charged with 14 counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and was ordered held on $20 cash bail.

Brian Lacombe, 22, of 39 Orchard St., Taunton, was arraigned on eight counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and was ordered held on $15,000 cash bail.

Both Fernandes and Lacombe are due back in court Sept. 13.

Contact Gerry Tuoti at

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Half Ton Pot Bust in Abington Massachusetts

"We're not dealing with the average dime bag on the corner of the street, we're dealing with direct shipment," said Abington Police Deputy Chief Christopher Cutter.

This is what Abington, Massachusetts Police found when they acted on a tip and busted up a marijuana shipment Monday that they believe came from Mexico.

Prosecutor Eric Drury said, "Unknown parties has paid additional shipping monies to be made aware of the location of the shipment as well as any problems incurred in transit, this is unusual for shipments."

So police met the shipment that contained two crates at a local freight company, just as prosecutors say Tommy Colbert of Brockton, Mass. showed up with a rental truck to pick up the crates.

Police say drug dogs hit on the scent of narcotics, and they secured a search warrant to see what was inside.

After unwrapping layers of shrink wrap and garbage bags, they came to this Mexican newspaper.

Deputy Chief Cutter said, "As soon as we got to that layer of newspaper there was an overwhelming smell of fabric softener."

Drury said, "This elaborate packaging secured a tightly compacted dense green vegetable type substance."

That green substance was determined to be marijuana - more than 500 pounds of it, worth more than one million dollars.

Police took Colbert into custody - charging him with 4 felonies, including drug trafficking.

"Highly unusual, we're usually dealing with, at the most, a pound here, a pound there, but to have upwards of 700 pounds of marijuana that is extremely unusual," said Cutter.

What also peaked their interest is that Colbert is a Boston wedding photographer who has what prosecutors call a minor record.

Cutter said, "We have evidence to believe that the suspect has picked up other shipments from that terminal, we're investigating what those other shipments might have been."

Colbert's defense attorney Richard Lane said in court that his client has been a photographer for more than 35 years, has two children, and has lived in Massachusetts all his life.

Colbert is being held on $40,000 cash bail.

He's due back in court on September 14th.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer James Powderly's Client Ordered Held Without Bail on Kidnapping and Rape Charges


By Will Richmond
Posted Aug 03, 2010 @ 10:34 PM
Last update Aug 04, 2010 @ 02:48 PM

The man accused of abducting a woman from her porch and raping her will remain behind bars after a judge ruled he is a danger to the community.

District Court Judge Toby Mooney agreed to hold Angel Luis Cruz, 37, of 186 Tremont St., Apt. 1, for 90 days without bail for his alleged actions on July 25. He is accused of kidnapping a 58-year-old woman from outside her Flint home and sexually assaulting her inside his apartment. Cruz is being charged with kidnapping, aggravated rape, assault with a dangerous weapon and intimidating a witness. Defense attorney James Powderly had sought that bail be set at $10,000.

He said that witnesses described the suspect as a white man who is taller than Cruz. He said that the victim also failed to pick Cruz’s photo from a photo array.

Cruz is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 9 for a pretrial conference.

Mooney also held Cruz without bail on a charge of assault and battery on a person over 60 following allegations that he attempted to abduct a woman near Kennedy Park in March. Powderly reserved the right to argue bail on that charge at a later date.

Witnesses during the dangerousness hearing described a horrific scene. They said Cruz held the victim by the throat and struck her in the head as he attempted to stuff her into his car.

“You could hear her just yelling, trying to get help from someone,” one witness said.

Anthony Ferry said he was outside his Tremont Street apartment when Cruz returned to his apartment in the same building. Ferry said he saw Cruz entering the building with a woman that he said was “upset and crying.”

The most graphic testimony came from investigating Officer Alan Beausoleil, who said Cruz first attempted to force himself on the victim inside the bathroom of his apartment, and when she resisted he tossed her onto a bed and continued to assault her in a variety of ways, threatening her the whole time.

“He covered her face, telling her ‘Don’t look at me. I know where you live. I know where your house is,’” Beausoleil said, based on the interview he conducted with the victim.

He said Cruz then forced the victim to shower and took over the duty after becoming displeased with her efforts.

Beausoleil said Cruz also forced the victim into a nude pose and photographed her with his cell phone. That photo was allegedly found after police received a warrant to search the phone’s contents.

In arguing for holding Cruz, Assistant District Attorney Maryclare Flynn informed the court that Cruz had been arrested in 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio, for allegedly photographing a woman inside a grocery store with his cell phone.

E-mail Will Richmond at

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Arrests Made in Mass Prescription Drug Case

Published : Wednesday, 28 Jul 2010, 7:48 AM EDT

By Anthony Fay

TURNERS FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) - A man from Franklin County was arrested after a postal inspector allegedly delivered him a package full of Oxycodone pills.

According to a news release sent to 22News from the Montague Police Department, Mitchell Barre was arrested on four drug charges on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the release, a search warrant was issued after a postal inspector had discovered 300 Oxycodone pills inside a package that was to be delivered to 74 Turnpike Road in Turners Falls. Following the discovery, the postal inspector hand-delivered the package to the home.

The warrant was carried-out by members of the Montague, Greenfield, Deerfield, and Leverett Police Departments, as well as the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and the United States Postal Service. According to the release, the investigation into the case had been going on for more than a month.

Barre is being charged with Possession of a Class B Substance (not cocaine), Possession with intent to distribute, Conspiracy to Violate Drug Law, and Trafficking in a Class B Substance between 28 and 100 grams. His bail was set at $10,000.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Attorney Powderly Appointed in Fall River Kidnapping and Rape Case

Suspect held without bail in Fall River kidnapping, rape

By Michael Holtzman and Kevin P. O'Connor
Posted Jul 26, 2010 @ 01:25 PM
Last update Jul 26, 2010 @ 06:31 PM

In a crime Police Chief Daniel Racine called “one of the worst acts of violence in recent memory,” a city man allegedly kidnapped a 58-year-old woman from her front porch, took her to his apartment and raped her Sunday night.

The victim later led detectives to the Tremont Street residence where the assault took place, police said. The suspect, 38-year-old Angel Luis Cruz, was eventually found near his apartment and arrested.

Cruz, of 186 Tremont St., Apt. 1, was arraigned Monday on charges of kidnapping, aggravated rape, assault with a dangerous weapon and intimidating a witness. He was ordered held in custody pending a dangerousness hearing set for Aug. 3.

Defense lawyer James Powderly made no argument for bail. Instead, he asked to be allowed to make that argument at the dangerousness hearing.
The victim was likely chosen at random, said police spokesman Sgt. Paul Gauvin. “There’s nothing to believe he knew her.”

The middle-aged Asian victim was treated and released at Charlton Memorial Hospital, Gauvin said.

“She came home at 5:30 or 6 this morning,” the woman’s oldest son, 38, said after Cruz’s arraignment. “With the comfort of her neighbors and family, I think she is glad to be home.

“She is angry. She is so small, she couldn’t defend herself.”

Police said the victim was dragged from her porch near Alden and Harrison streets about 7:30 p.m. One of her sons witnessed the abduction and briefly gave chase, providing police with a description of the suspect's car and a partial license plate number.

An hour later, the “visibly upset” victim was walking toward her home and told police she had been dropped off in the area of Quarry and Lebanon streets.

She told them she was threatened with physical violence and “the suspect continually told the victim that he would assault her with tools that were lying on the floor of the car,” reports said.

She told police she was physically forced into the Tremont Street apartment and sexually assaulted.

With the help of landmarks, descriptions and witnesses, police identified Cruz as the suspect. Detective John McDonald located the suspect a short time later in his Nissan Sentra near his residence. He was immediately taken into custody.

McDonald and Detective Lawrence Ferreira executed a search warrant early Monday and police levied the charges against Cruz. The rape charge carries a life sentence in state prison, Gauvin said.

“This attack is one of the worst acts of violence in recent memory. The assault and abduction of this victim is disturbing and shocking, even to seasoned investigators,” Racine said. “While we are remorseful the attack occurred, I am pleased the officers were able to locate and apprehend the suspect in short order. Our hearts go out to the victim and her family.”

The woman’s son and several other relatives sat quietly in District Court during the arraignment. When Cruz was lead into the courtroom and placed in the prisoner’s dock, which is surrounded by glass, he never glanced in their direction.

“I wanted to climb over the bench when I saw him,” the woman’s son said. “They put that glass there for a reason.”

The police department’s Major Crimes detectives and Crime Scene Identification units took part in the investigation. A massive search was conducted prior to the arrest, with Environmental Police searching the Fall River/Freetown reservation area.

Officer Alan Beausoleil responded initially to the scene and interviewed the victim’s son, reports said.

E-mail Michael Holtzman at
E-mail Kevin P. O'Connor at

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Former equestrian Silva gets 22.5 years for exploitation, child porn charges

By Kevin P. O'Connor
Posted Jun 30, 2010 @ 08:41 PM

Joseph Silva is an evil person who hurt those who trusted him, prosecutors said in court Wednesday.

But, because of the strength and courage of a small group of young women, Silva will not be able to do that anymore, Detective Joseph Martin added.

Silva, 35, formerly of Swansea, will spend almost all of his life in prison or on probation after pleading guilty to using his job as an equestrian trainer at stables in Berkley and Swansea to seduce girls, take pornographic pictures of them and share those pictures with others.

He agreed on Tuesday to 270 months — 22.5 years — in federal custody for the sexual exploitation of a child, transportation of and possession of child pornography.

He was brought into Bristol County Superior Court Wednesday where he admitted his guilt before Judge Robert Kane to statutory rape, posing a child in the nude for photographs, possession of child pornography, indecent assault on a child younger than 14 and disseminating photographs of a child in the nude.

Silva was sentenced to 20 years in prison, to run concurrently with his federal sentence, and to 20 years of probation that will begin when he completes his federal sentence and probation.

“The man before you is not a good man,” one young woman testified before Silva was sentenced. “He likes to prey on children to fulfill his fantasies.”

The woman, one of the victims in the case, was not identified by name. She told the court that she was just one of Silva’s victims to attempt suicide.

“Before I met him, I was a happy and healthy teenage girl. That slowly went downhill. The ways I let him into my life because I trusted him I will regret forever.

“I wasn’t his first victim and I wasn’t the last. There is no punishment enough for what he has done.”

Karen Lynne Fabrizio of Pembroke, a close relative of one of the victims, also addressed Silva. Silva faced Fabrizio, as he faced all the victims, without visible emotion.

“You hurt people so much with what you have done,” she said. “You took away their childhood.

“You need to know that the sickness you have is the poison that will destroy you.”

After the hearing, Fabrizio added: “I just want the girls to know to always speak up. Don’t be afraid. Speak up, as scary as it is.

“To the parents, make sure you listen to your children. And it is never the child’s fault. It is never their fault.”

The case began when a Swansea teenager went to the police and met with Detective Joseph A. Martin and Sgt. Gregory Ryan. Silva was arrested March 28, 2007, at his home on Dillon Lane in Swansea.

“The reason he is convicted and going to prison lies with this group of amazing young women,” Martin said after the sentencing. “They had the strength and fortitude to keep going.

“Because of that, they saved countless other girls from the same fate.”
The plea agreement was worked out between prosecutor Silvia Rudman and defense lawyer Joseph J. Balliro Jr.

Silva must serve his federal sentence. With a sentence of 22.5 years, he must spend 18 years in federal prison before he is eligible for parole. His state sentence will be served at the same time.

Once he finishes his federal obligation, he will be on state probation for 20 years. During that time he must register as a sex offender, have no contact with the victims or with minors, cannot use a computer except for his work, will be subject to random, warrantless searches if he has computer equipment in his home and will be required to remain in Massachusetts except with the permission of his probation officer.

Silva has been in custody intermittently since his arrest. He was granted bail but that bail was revoked after he contacted one of the victims in the case.

Kane gave Silva prison credit for the time he has already served.

E-mail Kevin P. O’Connor at

Five Arraigned on Drug Trafficking Charges

Alleged ring was based in Colombia, US attorney says

After a trail of cash led federal investigators from Boston to Colombia in a five-year investigation, eight men were arrested, five of whom were arraigned in Boston yesterday afternoon on drug trafficking charges.

The investigation began in 2005, when federal investigators discovered that drug money was being delivered to Boston, where it would land in the hands of professional money launderers before working its way back to drug dealers in Colombia.

It is unusual for Latin American drug traffickers to be extradited and tried in Boston, as the city is not a typical port of entry used by international narcotic traffickers. But the Hub has just as much of a stake in stopping the flow of drugs as any other US city, US District Attorney Carmen Ortiz, the top federal prosecutor for Massachusetts, said at a news conference in Boston yesterday.

“It shows that Boston is not just some tiny town that does not care about solving the national and international problem of drug trafficking,’’ he said. “We’re going to play a role in it.’’

To trace the money, federal agents posed as money launderers and were hired to handle some of the drug ring’s cash. Over the past several years, investigators used the money trail to find where cocaine was arriving in the United States. They also tracked cocaine traffic in Colombia.

“What is unique about this case is that we normally follow the drug trail to the money,’’ Ortiz said. “In this case, the exact opposite was true.’’

Federal investigators coordinated multiple “money pickups’’ in which they would receive money from drug traffickers and then wire it through “undercover bank accounts,’’ or occasionally the black market, back to ac counts controlled by the drug cartel.

During the five-year probe, which became known as Operation Beanpot, officials said investigators seized 2,900 kilograms of cocaine worth at least $100 million in the United States.

The drug traffickers used Filipino Merchant Marines working on commercial vessels to ship the narcotics out of Colombia and into the United States. The cocaine taken to the United States mostly went through ports of entry in New Orleans and Miami, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

It is unknown whether any drugs trafficked by the suspects ever landed in Boston. But Ortiz said the international drug trade affects Boston.

“People in our city die and get hurt, and neighborhoods get harmed, by these drugs,’’ Ortiz said. “If we can play a role in keeping those drugs from leaving Colombia and entering Boston . . . then we are playing a massive role.’’

The five men who appeared in court yesterday were identified as Leyvan Alvarez-Bastidas, 39, who is also known as “Ivan,’’ Hector Javier Castro-Meza, 47, known as “Pepe,’’ Gustavo Castro-Caicedo, 50, known as “Luis Amaro,’’ Fidel Alberto Ruales-Vallijo, 36, known as “Cui,’’ and May Adolfo Morcillo-Molina, 29, known as “May.’’

Yesterday afternoon, the five men were led into the US District Court in Boston with their hands and feet shackled, heads down and faces drawn.

Being held by Colombian authorities are Luis Alberto Zapata-Sanchez, 43, known as “El Negro,’’ Bernardo Alberto Merino-Cuaran, 27, known as “Gaviota,’’ and Alex Castro-Cortes, 34, known as “Ali.’’ They may also be brought to Boston pending approval by the Colombian president.

Federal officials would not say whether any of the defendants were suspected to have ties to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a guerrilla army better known as FARC that has been linked to numerous acts of violence, kidnapping, and participation in the illegal drug trade.

The United States has charged all of the men with the same charges: violating the US Code on multiple drug-related counts. These charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison with supervised releases and a $4 million fine, said Assistant US Attorney Zachary R. Hafer, who served as the prosecutor in yesterday’s arraignment.

All five of the men pleaded “not guilty’’ and accepted voluntary detention, meaning they will be held by the US Marshal until their next appearance in court, set for Sept. 15.

While defense attorneys in the case declined to comment yesterday, court officials said that the United States would be ready to bring as many as 15 witnesses to testify if the case were to go to trial.

Federal investigators said unlike other drug extradition cases, this time, undercover agents were able to successfully identify and apprehend members of the cartel from the top (Alvarez-Bastidas was identified as the group leader) to the bottom (individuals who transported small amounts of cocaine into the United States on buses and trucks).

The investigation was conducted by special agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration and criminal investigators from the Internal Revenue Service, officials said. Investigators from Colombia’s Administrative Department of Security, the Colombian equivalent of the FBI, also participated.

“International borders offer no security to drug traffickers who seek to flood our communities with tons of cocaine and launder the proceeds as alleged in this indictment,’’ Steven M. Derr, the DEA’s special agent-in-charge, said in a statement. “Traffickers will not escape the grasp of law enforcement professionals who have dedicated themselves to putting these criminal groups out of business.’’

Marissa Lang can be reached at

© Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Police Smell Pot Coming from Car, Discover Cocaine in Wellsley Mass.


Driver charged with possession of Class B substance.

A 21-year-old Wellesley man caught with marijuana was right when he told a police detective pot had been decriminalized in Massachusetts. Keeping a bag of cocaine in your car, however, is still very much a criminal act.

While making an early-morning motor vehicle stop on Weston Road Sunday, two officers, including a detective, smelled marijuana emanating from a yellow vehicle as it passed them. The police followed the car to the Mobil gas station on Washington Street, where the detective questioned the driver, Tyler Boyd of 4 Damien Road, about the odor.

Boyd, who had two male passengers, initially said there was no marijuana in the car, according to police; he later conceded he had less than an ounce of pot and cited the state's 2008 decriminalization of marijuana, which makes such small possession punishable by a $100 civil fine. Offenders are not reported to the state's criminal history board. Boyd turned over a bottle that contained about two grams of marijuana.

The detective also noticed in the back seat an open 12-pack of beer, which one passenger had attempted to cover with a towel. Additionally, police located a bag containing a white powder - which a field test showed to be cocaine - and a bottle of pills, the prescription for which did not belong to anyone in the vehicle. Boyd was arrested and charged with possession of a class B substance; the two passengers will be summoned to Dedham District Court for the same. Boyd also was issued a town bylaw violation for the marijuana possession.

"We see marijuana possession periodically," Wellesley police spokeswoman Lt. Marie Cleary said. "Other narcotics, less often. That's not to say it never happens, but it's not weekly or even monthly."

Attempted Murder Charges DISMISSED Against Attorney James Powderly's Client Facing A Mandatory Minimum 10 Year Prison Term

By Kevin P. O'Connor
Posted Jul 19, 2010 @ 10:48 PM
Charges were dismissed against Luis Chevere, one of three people charged with attempted murder for the shooting on Bedford Street on May 5.

Chevere, 19, of Pine Street, was released after prosecutors declined to continue the case against him.

His two former co-defendants have been indicted and are scheduled for arraignment Monday in Superior Court. They are Jovaughn Mills, 18, of Fall River, and Megan Ferreira, 20, of New Bedford.

Police allege Mills and Ferreira were in a car on Bedford Street just before midnight on May 5. Ferreira was driving when Mills opened fire on a second car at Covel Street, police said. The bullets went through the windows and door of the car, striking a Pine Street man, now 23, who needed medical treatment for a wound to his arm and for car window glass embedded in his face.

Police alleged that Chevere was in the car at the time of the shooting.
But at a hearing on May 12 in which Chevere asked for bail, defense lawyer James Powderly argued that the case against Chevere was weak.

The victim knew Chevere, but did not identify him as one of his attackers, Powderly said.

“The fact that the victim did not identify Mr. Chevere speaks volumes,” Powderly said.

District Court Judge Toby Mooney denied bail to Chevere, but bail was set at $750 cash when the matter was appealed to Superior Court.

That bail was returned after prosecutors decided there were insufficient facts to support bringing the case to a grand jury.

Mills and Ferreira have been held since their arrest two days after the shooting.

They can argue for bail again when they are arraigned in Superior Court.
If they are denied bail, the prosecution must be ready to try the case within 90 days.

A conviction on the charge of attempted murder carries a possible sentence of 20 years in prison.

Because prosecutors charge a gun was used, Mills and Ferreira face a minimum sentence of 10 years if convicted.

E-mail Kevin P. O’Connor at

Monday, July 19, 2010

Client Facing Attempted Murder Charge Granted Bail After Attorney Powderly's Argument

By Kevin P. O’Connor
Posted Jul 09, 2010 @ 08:51 PM

Chantra Say is too dangerous to walk the streets of the city, a judge ruled Friday.

But his friend, Mary Huot, can go free because her brother promised to watch over her.

Say, 19, of Stevens Street, and Huot, 19, of Fordney Street, appeared before District Court Judge Lance Garth to fight the prosecution argument that they should be held in custody until they can be tried on charges of attempted murder.

Those two, plus Jessika Sardinha, 19, of Edgemont Street, are charged in connection with the shooting of Stephen Ponte, 20, and Stephen Howland, 20, both of Hartwell Street, at the corner of Plymouth Avenue and Rodman Street on July 1 at 11:35 p.m.

“They both present a danger to the citizens of Fall River,” prosecutor Carolyn Morrissette argued Friday during a dangerousness hearing held for Say and Huot. “The shooting was in a heavily travelled part of the city and there were several people about.

“The victims did suffer extensive injuries. Mr. Stephen Howland has a shattered femur. He will require surgery to repair it.”

Morrissette called one witness to the stand. Officer Thomas DeMello reported he was the first police officer to arrive at the shooting, pulling up just moments after it occurred when he saw three witnesses flag down his police cruiser.

Howland was lying on the ground outside the Shell gas station, bleeding from wounds. Ponte was inside with bystanders starting first aid, DeMello said.

Moments later, officers stopped a Geo Tracker on Hartwell Street and Say, Huot and Sardinha were arrested. Police say they also recovered a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol from the car, its clip empty, its slide locked back — something that happens when a semi-automatic pistol his fired until it is empty.

Police allege Sardinha borrowed her mother’s car and then drove Say and Huot to a parking lot behind the Shell station to let off another friend at Straight Shooters, a pool hall.
On their way there, they drove by Ponte and Howland, who were on foot, crossing Plymouth Avenue at Rodman Street. Say and the two men shouted at each other as they passed.

When Sardinha drove into the parking lot, Say and Huot got out of the Tracker and went through a fence into the Shell property.

Sardinha later told police she heard gunshots and drove away, pulling onto Plymouth Avenue north before turning around to drive south on Plymouth Avenue. She saw Say and Huot run across Plymouth Avenue, so she stopped to pick them up and then drove away until she was stopped.

James Powderly, the lawyer for Huot, said nothing in the prosecution case justified denying bail to Huot.

“There is nothing in her history to suggest she is a dangerous person,” Powderly argued. “Mere presence at the scene of the crime is not enough to prove joint venture.

“There is no evidence at all that Ms. Huot knew there was a gun in the car, knew there was going to be a shooting or did anything after the shooting other than to flee.”

All three co-defendants are charged with attempted murder, illegal possession of a gun and assault with a deadly weapon. The prosecution alleges Say had the pistol when he got into the car and he was the only one to handle or fire the gun.

Ken Van Colen, Say’s lawyer, asked the court to release Say to home confinement while awaiting trial.

“There is more to this than just a random shooting,” Van Colen said. “Given that, are the people of Fall River in danger?”

The law requires prosecutors to begin trial within 90 days when a defendant is denied bail, but generally the court allows that time to be extended.

“The commonwealth is making a promise to the court that they will try my client within 90 days,” Van Colen said. “I have yet to see that happen in previous cases.”

Say was ordered held in custody pending trial. Huot was released to her brother’s custody but was ordered to report weekly to the Fall River police, refrain from drugs or alcohol and to observe a curfew of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Bail was previously set at $10,000 for Sardinha.

The case will be referred to a grand jury for prosecution in Superior Court. If prosecutors do not present the matter to a grand jury before Aug. 4, the case will return to District Court for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

A conviction on the charge of attempted murder with a gun carries a maximum sentence of 20 years with a 10 year minimum sentence.

E-mail Kevin P. O’Connor at

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Attorney Powderly Defends Client Implicated and Charged in February '10 Fall River Murder

By Kevin P. O'Connor

Herald News Staff Reporter

Posted Jun 15, 2010 @ 06:25 PM


A city man was charged with murder Tuesday for a Feb. 27 killing that prosecutors say was part of a gang feud.

But the man killed had nothing to do with the gangs involved or the feud, the prosecutor added.

Erroll Powell, 21, of 194 Fifth St., was ordered held without bail. He is charged with walking up to a red Jaguar sedan parked on Charles Street and firing at least three shots into the back seat, killing Jonathan Nieves and wounding his brother, Jacobo Nieves, at 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 27.

“This was the result of a gang dispute,” prosecutor Stephen Nadeau told District Court Judge Joseph Macy. “It appears Mr. Nieves was an innocent victim.

“No one in that car was related to the gang dispute that was going on.”
Powell was ordered held pending a hearing on Friday to determine if he should be granted bail while awaiting trial.

Delma Sadm, 26, also of 194 Fifth St., was arrested with Powell and also ordered held without bail. She is charged with being an accessory to murder and intimidating a witness.

Her lawyer, James Powderly, is scheduled to return to court today to offer an argument for bail.

Police became aware of the shooting when Nieves and his brother were delivered to the emergency room at St. Anne’s Hospital at 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 27. Jonathan Nieves was pronounced dead on arrival with three bullets in his chest. Jacobo Nieves was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence for treatment of gunshot wounds to his left hand and right biceps.

When the brothers arrived at the hospital, police were already circling the Sunset Hill housing complex after getting calls reporting gunshots there.
The Nieves brothers had been in the back seat of the red 2002 Jaguar sedan when someone walked up to the passenger side of the car and fired at least three rounds into the car.

Police recovered three spent .40 caliber shells at the scene and pathologists pulled a .40 caliber slug from Jonathan Nieves’ body, according to the police report.

Fall River detectives and State Police investigators assigned to District Attorney Sam Sutter began the investigation that night.

Police located witnesses who reported seeing a light colored Lincoln Town Car leaving the area immediately after the shooting. The car was noticeable because it had a New York Yankees decal in the rear window, police were told.

The car provided the break: The car was located on Fifth Street and the owner later admitted the car was borrowed by a friend on Feb. 27 in the hours before dawn. The car owner told police she believed the friend was going to buy drugs.

But shortly after the car was returned, police allege, Delma Sadm called the owner of the car and ordered her to clean it out, wipe it down and to remove the Yankee sticker from the window.

Nadeau told the judge the investigation is continuing and requested that case files be kept sealed from the public while others involved in the shooting are sought.

Defense lawyer Gerald FitzGerald did not object to sealing the file. Judge Macy approved the request.

Nieves’ death set off a furor in the city. It came during a weekend that included a stabbing and another shooting, both unrelated.

Mayor William Flanagan met with police brass about the incidents and mentioned them a week later when he promoted Police Capt. Daniel Racine to chief.

Powell is charged with murder, two charges of assault and battery with a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, using a gun in the commission of a crime and firing a gun within 500 feet of a home.

He faces a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Sadm is charged with being an accessory and intimidating a witness.

The charge against her reads: “Knowing that Erroll Powell committed a felony, to wit, murder, (she) did harbor, conceal, maintain or assist such person with the intent that such person should avoid or escape detection, arrest, trial or punishment.”

Sadm faces a possible sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.

E-mail Kevin P. O’Connor at

"My Client has a strong alibi. This is clearly a case of mistaken identify." - Attorney Powderly on behalf of Joseph Rocha


By Kevin P. O'Connor

Herald News Staff Reporter

Posted June 14, 2010 @ 10:38 PM


Four men, charged with a robbery that netted a few hundred dollars in cash, will need thousands of dollars if they want to post bail for their freedom.

Derek Rocha, 23, and Joseph Rocha, 24, both of Whipple Street, Bruce Alves, 24, of Healey Street, and Andrew Aguiar, 23, of Church Street, were all arrested Sunday, charged with robbing two Fall River men, both 18, on Brown Street earlier that day.

The men told police they were sitting in their car in a parking lot, waiting for a friend, when they were approached by two of the men, whom they knew slightly.

The men began to speak and then one of the four defendants requested a cigarette. When one of the 18-year-olds complied, he had a knife put to his throat and was ordered to turn over his cell phone and cash, police said. Both men complied, police were told.

The two 18-year-old men called police an hour later to report the crime. Officer Charles Freitas took the report and relayed a description of the car the men said the robbers used. The four suspects were arrested shortly after that when Officer Dwayne Cabeceiras spotted their car on Hope Street and went into the Santo Cristo Club to find them.

Judge Christopher Welch set bail at $2,000 cash for Derek Rocha, $2,500 cash for Joseph Rocha, $1,000 cash for Alves and $3,000 cash for Aguiar. An individual’s past police record is taken into account when bail is set.

All four men told police they had been in the Santo Cristo Club all afternoon, watching World Cup soccer, defense lawyers argued Monday.

“My client has a strong alibi,” said lawyer James Powderly, the lawyer for Joseph Rocha. “This is clearly a case of mistaken identity.”

Both Powderly and lawyer Kenneth Van Colen, the lawyer for Alves, asked for and received permission to hire an investigator to find witnesses who saw the four men in the Santo Cristo Club through the afternoon.

“Everything about this tells you something else is going on,” Van Colen said. “These two victims don’t want to report the crime. It took them an hour to call the police. When the police arrived, they gave conflicting stories about what happened.

“The case is suspect, at best.”

The charge of armed robbery is a felony that carries a minimum 5-year sentence with a possible sentence of life in prison.

The case will go to a grand jury, which must determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

The lawyers in the case will return to court on July 9 for a status conference.

E-mail Kevin P. O’Connor at

Monday, June 14, 2010

FBI arrests alleged boss of Puerto Rico drug ring

FBI arrests alleged boss of Puerto Rico drug ring

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The FBI has arrested the alleged ringleader of a violent drug-trafficking ring suspected of ordering five recent murders, an agent said Friday.

Jose Claudio Montes, also known as "Chiki Bazooka," was captured Thursday inside a housing project where he allegedly controlled the trade of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, said Luis Fraticelli, special agent in charge of the FBI in Puerto Rico.

Claudio and dozens of associates were arrested as part of a lengthy investigation of drug gangs inside Puerto Rico's housing projects that has led to more than 1,400 arrests since 2006.

Authorities have arrested 41 of 76 people who were indicted with Claudio by a U.S. grand jury. The rest are believed to be in Puerto Rico with the exception of five, who are in Delaware and Massachusetts, Fraticelli said.

Also Friday, U.S. authorities announced the seizure of 532 pounds (241 kilograms) of cocaine hidden on a pleasure craft named "La Burla" — Spanish for "Mockery" — that was intercepted Thursday off Puerto Rico's west coast. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested the two Puerto Rican men and one Dominican man aboard.

As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is a favored transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the U.S. mainland. Some of the drugs are consumed locally and authorities blame the Caribbean island's soaring homicide rate largely on feuds between rival drug rings.

Claudio is responsible for five slayings over a one-month period beginning in April and had targeted seven other people for execution, Fraticelli said. He has not been charged with murder and the island's police chief said the slayings are under investigation.

During a raid last month on the gang's property, Claudio threatened to kill anyone who came to arrest him as well as residents of the San Juan housing project, the agent said.

"He said 'I'm going to kill everybody,'" Fraticelli said. "From this day forward he will not take advantage of anybody."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Three Men Arraigned on Insurance Fraud Charges in 2008 Car Fire

If you or a loved one is facing arson or fraud charges, call to speak with Attorney James Powderly now at 508-343-0676 for a free, confidential consultation. Attorney Powderly can advise you and help you in dealing with Police Detectives and on-going investigations, a critical part of evidence gathering process, with the goal of effectively asserting your Constitutional Rights. If you have been contacted by the Police and they have asked you to give a statement, call an experienced criminal defense lawyer regarding your rights and options before speaking with the police.

Three Men Arraigned on Insurance Fraud Charges in 2008 Car Fire

By Staff reports
Posted Jun 11, 2010 @ 10:05 AM

A lengthy investigation into a November 2008 vehicle fire in a remote section of Rehoboth resulted in the recent arraignments of three men on insurance fraud and conspiracy charges.

On June 1 in Taunton District Court, Woonsocket, R.I. residents Delin Dambra, 29, and Craig Ostrowski, 22, and Attleboro resident Wesley Salvas, 28, were arraigned on charges brought by Rehoboth police officer Brian Ramos.

Dambra, was charged with burning a motor vehicle to defraud the insurer, accessory before the fact, accessory after the fact and conspiracy, all felonies.

Ostrowski and Salvas are each charged with burning a motor vehicle, burning a motor vehicle to defraud the insurer and conspiracy, all felonies.
The charges were made after a lengthy investigation into a vehicle fire that occurred on Nov. 19, 2008 on Starr Lane. This area is in a remote section of town by the Swansea line.

The vehicle, a grey 1999 Jeep Cherokee, was fully engulfed in flames when police and fire personnel arrived on the scene. The vehicle was destroyed by the fire.

The suspects' next date in court is July 7, 2010 for a pre-trial conference.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dennis men get 15 years for cocaine trafficking

*****If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Massachusetts for the trafficking or distribution of cocaine, herion, or other controlled substances call Attorney James Powderly for a free, confidential consultation to learn how a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer can help protect your Constitutional rights.


Two Dennis men will face at least 15 years each in state prison after they were found guilty yesterday of trafficking nearly a half-kilogram of cocaine from New York City.

Following six days of testimony and more than 20 witnesses, a Barnstable County Superior Court jury took about two hours to return guilty verdicts against Hector Jimenez-Simo, 25, and Anthony Reyes, 27, both of 109 Route 28, who were each charged after police found them with 436 grams of cocaine.

Investigators from the Dennis Police Department and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, who had been tracking Reyes and Jimenez-Simo since November, arrested the two men Dec. 5 on Route 25 in Bourne as they returned from New York City with the drugs, according to the Cape and Islands District Attorney's office.

The cocaine, valued at more than $88,000, was stored in a television set in the rear passenger seat.

"It is a large amount of cocaine, and it illustrates the pipeline between New York City and Cape Cod for the distribution of drugs," District Attorney Michael O'Keefe said yesterday. "It's a good thing this particular load was intercepted."

The case is thought to be the first on the Cape to include evidence presented from new Global Positioning System technology which investigators used to track the vehicle to and from New York and around the Cape as they were allegedly made drug deals, said Assistant District Attorney Nicole Manoog, who prosecuted the case.

"I don't think many courts have allowed that evidence before. ... It's definitely becoming an important tool," Manoog said yesterday.

"We've all seen how GPS has helped us in our personal lives. This is a great application of that technology for law enforcement," echoed Dennis police Chief Mike Whalen.

Judge Robert C. Rufo sentenced Jimenez-Simo, thought to lead the operation, to 17 to 20 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction in Walpole. Reyes, who prosecutors believe served as a body guard, was sentenced to 15 years.

Reyes' attorney, Lawrence Glynn of Falmouth, did not return calls yesterday. Jimenez-Simo's attorney, Robert Galibois of Plymouth, declined to comment.

"(Those are) as harsh a sentence as you receive for manslaughter," said O'Keefe, the District Attorney. "I wouldn't suggest that this is an end to the flow (of drugs from New York). But I hope it sends a message to those people who would engage in this level of trafficking, you're going to face justice."

Woman arrested for passing false prescriptions

****If you or a loved one are facing Massachusetts Drug Charges resulting from the possession, distribution or sale of prescription drugs or pill, call Attorney James Powderly for a free, confidential consultation to understand how a skilled drug defense lawyer can help protect your Constitutional rights.

SALEM (FOX 25 / - A woman was arrested this morning for passing false prescriptions with her small child in tow.

Michele Manion, 27, allegedly tried to get a prescription filled for 60 Percocets at a local Target. Percocet is a pain medication. The prescription was written on a pad that had been stolen out of a Massachusetts doctor’s office.

Manion was arrested at the scene. She and her child were taken to the Salem Police Department for booking. The child was released into the custody of the father.

This mother also possessed other drugs including a bottle of Klonopin, which is an anti-seizure drug, and an empty bottle of Oxycodone. Police are still investigating the legitimacy of these prescriptions.

Manion was charged with possession of a false or forged prescription, which is a felony. She was arraigned in Salem District Court and was released on $500 cash bail.