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Operation Red Wolf Yields Charges Against 20 for Drug Trafficking
JANUARY 26, 2012

BOSTON - Today, federal and state indictments were unsealed against 20 individuals charged with drug and firearm violations following a two-year investigation dubbed Operation Red Wolf

A total of 16 individuals were arrested early this morning.  Two defendants are currently in state custody, on unrelated charges, and two others are still at large.  The charges are the product of a coordinated, joint federal and state investigation into illegal firearm sales, drug trafficking and related gang activities in Fitchburg.  Of those arrested, 14 have been charged in federal indictments, and six have been charged by the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office. 

  The following were arrested on federal indictments today:

  • Benjamin Batista, 32, charged with being a felon unlawfully in possession of a handgun, possession of an unregistered silencer and other crimes.  He faces up to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000;
  • Junior Barclay, Aka "Mouse", 30, charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and other crimes.  He faces up to 40 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million;
  • Jose E. Bruno, 46, charged with several counts of distributing heroin.  He faces up to 30 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to       $2 million;
  • Danny Diaz, 25, charged with several counts of distributing cocaine base.  He faces up to 40 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to  $5 million;
  • Andre Dorzin, Aka "Wish", 24, charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and other crimes.  He faces up to 40 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million;
  • Orlando Garcia, 31, charged with being a felon unlawfully in possession of a handgun and/or ammunition and being a felon in possession of body armor.  He faces up to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000;
  • Shawn McWhorter, Aka "Kaeshaun", 38, charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and other crimes.  He faces up to 40 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million;
  • Hector Rodriguez, Aka "Bolo", 31, charged with distribution of cocaine base and other crimes.  He faces up to 40 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $8 million;
  •          Charles Simmons Aka "B", 21, charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and other crimes.  He faces up to 40 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million; and
  • Luis R. Vasquez, Aka "Joker", 41, charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and other crimes.  He faces up to 40 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million.

 

  Two additional defendants have been charged federally in connection with the operation; however, they are presently in state custody at the Worcester County House of Corrections. 

  • Juan R. Rodriguez, Aka "Cuba", 67, charged with several counts of distributing cocaine base.  He faces up to 30 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $2 million. 
  • Marlon Guardado, 26, charged with seven counts of being a felon unlawfully in possession of a handgun and/or ammunition.  He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. 

  Federal charges were also filed against two other individuals who are still at large.

  Those charged by state indictment include:  

  • Paul Morin, 31 - On 4/29/10, possession of incendiary device, possession of ammunition; on 4/30/10, possession of incendiary device (6 counts);
  • Orlando Opio-Vasquez, 28 - On 2/15/11 Trafficking B 28-100 grams (cocaine), Dist A (heroin);
  • Jonathan Acosta, 22 - On 6/15/11 Trafficking B 28-100 grams (cocaine);
  • Lazaro Paulino, 36 - On 1/14/10 Trafficking B 28-100 (cocaine); On 4/8.10 Trafficking B 28-100 (cocaine);
  • Donald Aho, 30 - On 9/8/10 Dist B cocaine - 2nd and sub; and
  • Luis Berdecia, 26  - On 8/25/10 Dist A (heroin); On 10/27/10 Dist A (Heroin).

 

According to the federal affidavit filed today, a number of the defendants are members or associates of street gangs operating in Fitchburg, including the United Blood Nation.  It is further alleged that a number of these defendants have been convicted of crimes of violence and narcotics felonies and face enhanced sentences. 

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said, “There are communities like Fitchburg who are working to restore their neighborhoods.  It is critical that we continue to take an aggressive approach to investigating and prosecuting those who wreak havoc through their illegal use, possession or distribution of guns and drugs.  The law abiding citizens of Fitchburg deserve nothing less, and we will not stand by and let a handful of criminals endanger lives and neighborhoods in this community.”

“We are ever vigilant in working with our law enforcement partners and together we attempt to do everything we can to improve the quality of life for the people in our cities and towns," said Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.  “When the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office proposed this investigation, we jumped at the opportunity to partner with them to get violent criminals, drugs and guns off the streets of these neighborhoods.”

Fitchburg Police Chief Robert A. DeMoura stated, “Our Police Department along with  the Massachusetts State Police and federal agencies will continue our strong partnerships that result in taking these influential criminals out of our and surrounding communities. Operations like these have been ongoing since I’ve been Chief and they will continue.  Fitchburg will not tolerate enterprising career criminals tearing at the fabric of our City.”

“Two years ago, more than 100 state, local and federal officers arrested approximately two dozen individuals on a variety of state and federal drug and firearm offenses allegedly tied to gang activity in the Fitchburg area,” said Richard DesLauriers, the Boston’s FBI Special-Agent-In-Charge.  “The dozens of individuals arrested today are those who allegedly decided to fill the vacuum left by their predecessors.  Today, the consequences of their actions became apparent.  The FBI, and its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, will maintain a laser-like focus on gang activity in Fitchburg and surrounding communities to do everything possible to ensure those communities are safe from fear and violence.”

“DEA and our law enforcement partners are committed to working together to make our communities safer for our citizens,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Lane, Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division. “This investigation is a great example of cooperative law enforcement between federal, state, and local law enforcement targeting a drug trafficking organization which is now out of business.  DEA will continue to target the most significant drug traffickers.”

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis said, “Today’s arrests were the result of many months of surveillance and collaboration between the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Attorney, Worcester County District Attorney and local law enforcement.  Our gang surveillance unit is constantly gathering information inside the House of Correction and working closely with local law enforcement to build intelligence on gangs throughout Worcester County.” 
Evangelidis added, “With these suspects behind bars, a major drug distribution ring in Worcester County has been broken up and we will assist in the full prosecution of these suspects.” 
U.S. Attorney Ortiz; District Attorney Early; SAC DesLauriers; Acting SAC Lane Chief DeMoura; Guy Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Colonel Marian McGovern, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Sheriff Evangelidis made the announcement today.  The case is part of an OCDETF joint investigation lead by the FBI, ATF, DEA through the Central Massachusetts HIDTA Task Force, the Massachusetts State Police, the Fitchburg Police Department, and the Worcester County Sheriff's Department.

The federal cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cory S. Flashner, David Hennessy and Karin M. Bell of Ortiz's Worcester Branch Office.  The state cases are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sarah Richardson and David P. Feraco of Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.’s Office.

The details contained in the indictments and the affidavit are allegations.  The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

For inquires related to the state defendants, please contact Tim Connolly, Communications Director, Worcester County District Attorney’s Office, (508) 368-7236.

 

 

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