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THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011

BOSTON, Mass. - Four individuals were charged today in federal court with conspiring to distribute heroin.

Jose Baez Gonzales, 40, Michelle Martinez, 30, and Estefan Berroa, 23, all of Lynn, and Alberto Perez, 35, of Peabody, were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. As reflected in the affidavit, Baez Gonzalez and Martinez were not legal U.S. residents and had both been deported from the United States on prior occasions.

The complaint affidavit alleges that several of the defendants sold heroin to undercover operatives on multiple occasions during 2011. On May 18, investigators executed federal search warrants at Baez Gonzales’ and Martinez’s residence and a business named Buili Fashions located on Union Street in Lynn. Agents seized several hundred grams of heroin, scales, packaging materials, stacks of U.S. currency, fraudulent identifications, numerous documents that appeared to be false Puerto Rican driving records, and materials and equipment believed to be used to manufacture such records. Berroa was arrested without incident in a vehicle containing a large quantity of heroin. Agents also arrested Baez Gonzales as he walked from his residence. He was in possession of approximately 10 bags of heroin and $2,000.

If convicted on these charges, the defendants face up to 40 years imprisonment to be followed by a minimum period of four years of supervised release, and a $5 million fine.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division, and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations made the announcement today. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Lynn, Peabody, and Massachusetts State Police Departments. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Young Paik of Ortiz's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



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