HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - A man who the FBI says is the leader of the "La Familia" gang in Holyoke is one of 11 people charged in federal court on Friday following a years-long drug investigation into the group.
According to an affidavit filed Friday by FBI Special Agent Mark Karangekis, 34 year-old Francisco Diaz (a.k.a. Franco) of Holyoke was the gang's leader and allegedly headed a city-wide drug-distribution operation based in South Holyoke. Karangekis says that the investigation revealed the "headquarters" of the operation to be 556 South Bridge Street, a four-story apartment building where Diaz lived.
Click here to read the full six-page FBI affidavit.
Nine other men from Holyoke have also been charged in connection with the investigation:
- Kelly Arzate, 29
- Antonio Caraballo (a.k.a. Pote), 35
- Luzander Montoya, 29
- Miguel Medina, 30
- William Rodriguez (a.k.a. Snoop) 28
- Pedro Colon, 31
- Reynaldo Figueroa, 27
- Miguel Alcazar, 23
- Edison Lajara, 25
- Charlie Santiago, 32, of Springfield
According to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, each defendant is accused of distributing heroin or cocaine in Holyoke between August of 2012 and March of 2013. Figueroa and Colon face additional firearms and ammunition charges.
If convicted on all charges, Arzate faces up to life in prison, while Montoya, Figueroa, Colon, Santoago, Carballo, Alcazar, and Lajara could face up to 30 years in prison, with Diaz, Rodriguez, and Medina facing up to 20 years.