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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Hampshire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Seven Indicted On Drug Trafficking Charges

            Concord, New Hampshire—United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice announced four indictments charging seven individuals with drug trafficking activities in Manchester, New Hampshire.  The following individuals were arrested and arraigned on Monday, December 19:

            In one indictment, Elizabeth Salinas Roldan, age 41, of Manchester, was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine; Ashley Salinas Soto, age 22, of Manchester, was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine; and Celestino Nieves Vasquez, age 41 of Manchester, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and distribution of cocaine.

            In another indictment, Brandin Melendez, age 33, of Manchester, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and distribution of cocaine base and Victor Alvarado, age 28, of Manchester, was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base.

             Michael J. Hernandez, age 26, of Lowell, MA, was charged with distribution of fentanyl.

            Yeoffred Cruz Ramos, age 32, of Manchester, was charged with distribution of heroin.

            Each of these individuals has been arrested this week and appeared in federal court.  Trials have been scheduled for February 2017.

            In announcing the indictments, U.S. Attorney Rice said, “The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute drug trafficking.  While we encourage efforts to obtain and provide treatment for those who are addicted to drugs, the enforcement of federal drug laws is also important part of our strategy to combat the opiate crisis that is afflicting New Hampshire.”  U.S. Attorney Rice also stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

            “The epidemic of opioid abuse is devastating our communities,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.  “Today’s arrests strike at the heart of the problem – dealers who fuel the cycle of addiction and overdose.  The FBI will do everything it can to disrupt the sale and distribution of illegal drugs to make our neighborhoods safer.”

            The charges are the product of an investigation of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force.  The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.  Other and state and local authorities involved in the investigation include the Manchester Police Department, the Hudson Police Department, the New Hampshire State Police, the Nashua Police Department, and the New Hampshire Department of Corrections Probation and Parole.  Investigators also received the invaluable assistance of DEA-NH/HIDTA.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Rombeau.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated December 21, 2016