LAWRENCE (CBS) — Thirty-two people were charged after a gun and drug bust in the Greater Lawrence area. According to the US Attorney’s Office, 27 of them have been arrested, and law enforcement is actively looking for the five others.
At least ten of them are “members or associates” of the Trinitarios gang in Lawrence, which has spread to New England from New York.
As a part of the investigation, undercover officers were able to buy 79 guns, along with heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine, through 44 different transactions. At least two had been used in shootings.
“The guns on the table show you why gun violence is not a local but a national problem…We bought over 10 rifles during this investigation, including assault-style rifles like semi-automatic AR-15s and AK-47s. We bought dozens of handguns,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling. “These guns did not originate in Massachusetts. Many, if not most of them, were purchased in other states and eventually lost or stolen after which they wound up on the streets,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.
Over 70 law enforcement officers from federal, state, and local levels helped conduct the arrests over the last week. They called the sweep “Operation Emerald Crush.”
Lelling said the majority of those arrested already have lengthy criminal records, including one man with 54 entries on his adult record.
Four minors were among those arrested for selling guns.
“Unfortunately, lately we’ve seen an uptick in juvenile crime. We’re talking 14, 15, 16-year-olds,” said Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque. “The criminals are allowing or wanting these younger kids to hold onto weapons or drugs or money, knowing if they’re caught they’re going to face lesser charges.”
He said this latest bust will have an impact on the Trinitarios organization and make the streets safer.
A full list of those arrested was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Charged in U.S. District Court:
- Arismendy Gil-Padilla, a/k/a “Flow,” 29, of Methuen
- Jonathan Arias, 29, of Indianapolis, Ind.
- Emilio Rodriguez, 32, of Lynn
- Enrique Rosario, a/k/a “Kike”, 32, of Lawrence
- John Harry Morales, a/k/a “Harry”, 33, of Lawrence
- Jose Aponte, a/k/a “Kiko”, 33, of Lawrence
- Jose Omar Hernandez-Aragones, a/k/a “Omar,” 22, of Lawrence
- Kevin Gomez, a/k/a “Monkey,” 31, of Haverhill
- Keysi Batista, 30, of Methuen
- Luis Ruiz Gonzalez, 27, of Lawrence
- Yisthen Ynoa, a/k/a “Cantifla,” 34, of Lawrence
Charged by Essex County District Attorney’s Office:
- Pedro Arias, 63, of Lawrence
- Jonathan Delgado, 35, of Lawrence
- Victor Diaz, 22, of Lawrence
- Luis Diaz-Brito, a/k/a “Blackie,” 22, of Lawrence
- Yolvie Diaz-Martinez, 22, of Salem
- Ulises Espinal, a/k/a “Ezequiel,” 34, of Methuen
- Robinson Gaston-Santana, 29, of Lawrence
- Francis Gotay, 29, of Haverhill
- J.M. – Juvenile
- J.R. – Juvenile
- Jose Nunez, a/k/a “Oreja,” 24, of Methuen
- Anthony Nunez-Romano, 20, of Methuen
- Alexis Paredes, a/k/a “Cabeza,” 31, of Lawrence
- Kevin Perez-Lorenzo, 20, of Salem
- Guaril Poche-Brito, a/k/a ‘Chamakito,” 21, of Haverhill
- Kenneth Rodriguez, 31, of Lawrence
- Temistocles Santana, a/k/a “Omar,” 28, of Lawrence
- Jael Guillen-Perez, 20, of Haverhill
- Alan Acosta, 23, of Lawrence
- Abigail Arias, 20, of Lawrence
- Eliezer Taveras, a/k/a “Bad Bunny,” 18, of Lawrence.