Alleged drug trafficking kingpin arrested along with 10 others - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Alleged drug trafficking kingpin arrested along with 10 others

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Eleven members of an alleged drug trafficking ring were arrested on various narcotics charges, police reported. Among the arrested was the reported kingpin of the organization, who was held on $1 million cash bail at his arraignment.

The investigation, Operation Whirlwind, led to police seizing $40,000 in cash, $800 in counterfeit US currency, two illegal firearms, and just under a kilogram of heroin, according to police. It also led to the arrest of seven defendants Thursday, and four more that were previously in custody.

"Because of these arrests, neighborhoods in Boston and several surrounding cities and towns are safer now than yesterday," Special Agent in Charge Vincent Lisi said in a statement. "Working together, our team of law enforcement agencies will always beat those whose purpose is to deal drugs and commit violence in our neighborhoods."

The investigation lasted for months and officers utilized confidential sources, controlled buys, strategic arrests, extensive surveillance and other traditional methods.

"To reach the top of the trafficking pyramid, we went to a Superior Court judge - not once, not twice, but on eight separate occasions to intercept the communications of top-level drug traffickers," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said in a statement. "This is the result. A wiretap is a powerful tool, but we can do more with it. Countless times, we've hit the same brick wall in murder investigations that we hit in narcotics investigations, but we have no recourse."

The following were arrests were made Dec. 5:

Francisco Arias, 32, of Roslindale, was arrested on six counts of conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws, four counts of trafficking in heroin, and one count each of money laundering and possession of a counterfeit note. He was held on $1 million cash bail.

Vladimir Arias-Santana, 28, of Roslindale was arrested on two counts of conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws and single counts of possession of a class A substance with intent to distribute and money laundering. He was held without bail until his arraignment Monday.

Miguel Diaz, 32, of Roxbury, was arrested on charges of trafficking in heroin and two counts of conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws. He was released on his own recognizance.

Nerys Santana, 52, of Roslindale, was arrested on counts of conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws and money laundering. She was released on her own recognizance.

Paloma Santos, 21, of Hyde Park, was arrested on one count of conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws. She was released on her own recognizance.

Rocio Santos, 23, of Roslindale, was arrested on one count of conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws. She was released on her own recognizance.

Deborah Serret, 49, of the South End, was arrested on two counts each of conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws and trafficking in heroin. She was held on $10,000 cash bail.

The following arrests were made on previous dates:

Elvin Maldonado, 37, of Hyde Park is currently in custody on OUI charges and expected to be charged with trafficking heroin, conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws, and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm as a second offense.

Elionel Burgos, 19, of Hyde Park is currently in custody on complaints charging trafficking in heroin and now also the subject of a complaint charging conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws.

Pedro Hernandez, 37, of Lawrence is currently in custody on a complaint charging trafficking in heroin and now also the subject of a complaint charging conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws.

Christian Rojas, 34, of Roslindale is currently in custody on charges of trafficking heroin and now also the subject of a complaint charging conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws.

Evidence developed during the investigation suggests that Arias and Maldonado, an accessory after the fact to the 2002 shooting death of Pedro Vargas, ran a drug trafficking organization that moved large quantities of heroin in Boston, police said. Arias' brother, Arias-Santana, allegedly managed street-level distribution in the organization. Their mother, Santana, allegedly allowed them to use her home for meetings with customers and to hide drugs and money. Serrett, Hernandez, Burgos, and Rojas were allegedly high level customers. The Santos sisters were allegedly participants who helped Arias. Diaz allegedly acted as a dealer with his own distribution network.

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