Sixteen people, including two from Attleboro, were arrested and seven were summoned Thursday morning on various drug and weapons charges following a multi-agency wiretap investigation headed by the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.
Attleboro residents Juan Diaz, 52, of 18D Colvin Road and Melvin Pena, 46, of 19D Colvin Road are scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning in Fall River District Court. They are both being held without bail.
The two men have been charged with conspiracy to violate drug laws and trafficking heroin.
Six coordinated raids in Attleboro, Taunton, Brockton and Central Falls led to the seizure of firearms and 1,100 grams of heroin with a street value in excess of $300,000, District Attorney Sam Sutter announced at a Thursday afternoon press conference in his New Bedford office.
"Today's arrests ... made during the course of this extensive multi-jurisdictional investigation result ... from the dedication and professionalism, and I witnessed it, of all the investigators who worked together to dismantle this illegal drug distribution organization," Sutter said. "Their combined efforts are making the streets of Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island a safer place and improving the quality of life for those who live there."
Dubbed "Operation Diesel Spill," the investigation focused on 38-year-old Alexander Torres Sr. of Taunton and Central Falls, R.I. Believed to be a major heroin distributor, Torres was arrested two years ago following a related investigation called "Operation RF Diesel" that led to arrest of more than 50 people. Torres is awaiting trial in that case, and has been out on bail. Authorities are attempting to get his bail revoked.
Sutter said authorities learned last summer that Torres was again distributing large amounts of heroin to customers in Bristol and Plymouth counties as well as parts of Rhode Island with the help of a "close group of individuals comprised of family members and other trusted friends."
The investigation is ongoing, Sutter said. More arrests are possible.
This is the fifth wiretap investigation into major drug distribution headed by the District Attorney's Office since Sutter took office in 2007. The agencies that assisted with the operation are the Attleboro Police Department, Rhode Island State Police, Massachusetts State Police, Rhode Island HIDTA Group, Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, federal ATF and the Massachusetts National Guard.