News Release
For Immediate Release:
October 22, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Department of Justice's "Project Coronado" Reaches New England
-Seven Indicted for Multi-Kilo Cocaine Conspiracy

OCT 22 -- BOSTON, MA - A federal grand jury indicted seven New England individuals for their role in a cocaine conspiracy that culminated in the seizure of 54 kilograms of cocaine as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Coronado,” a nationwide law enforcement action and the largest ever undertaken against a Mexican drug cartel.

Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Boston Field Office, Acting United States Attorney Michael K. Loucks, and Daniel Conley, Suffolk County District Attorney announced today that RANCIS OSIRIS SANTANA, 31, of North Andover, MA; JAIME LORENZO, 36, of Providence, RI; RONNELY SANTANA, 20, of Lawrence, MA; JUAN NOVA, 57, of Jamaica Plain, MA; ANGEL MORALES, 39, of Everett, MA; MANUEL ALEJANDRO PANIAGUA REYNOSO, 22, of Jamaica Plain, MA and SARA VEGA, 27, of Lowell, MA, were indicted by a federal grand jury today on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

The Indictment resulted from an investigation targeting a large scale cocaine distribution organization headed by defendant RANCIS OSIRIS SANTANA that culminated in the seizure of 54 kilograms of cocaine in North Andover, MA, on October 9, 2009. The investigation was a part of a “Project Coronado,” a national law enforcement initiative, which targeted the distribution network of a major Mexican drug trafficking organization known as the La Familia Cartel. More than 3000 agents and officers operated across the United States to make the arrests during the two-day takedown.

Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration said, “This investigation demonstrates that Mexican drug trafficking organizations reach deep into the United States. It also demonstrates that DEA and its law enforcement partners are up to the challenge of dismantling those organizations here in Massachusetts and throughout New England. We will continue to pursue investigations that target the heart of these trafficking groups, seizing their drugs and money, and arresting the traffickers behind these criminal organizations. There is no justice system better than that in the United States, these defendants now get their chance to see it up close and personal."