HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - A Holyoke school cafeteria worker was among 9 people arrested as part of a major investigation into drugs being brought up the East Coast from Florida and being distributed in the city.
Idalia Morales, who works at the Kelly School, was among those arrested on Thursday, Chief James Neiswanger announced during a news conference at police headquarters Thursday afternoon. Morales was arrested at the school, but police said that there was no indication that she was doing any distribution there.
There were also raids at 205 Walnut Street, 179 Oak Street, and several other locations around the city, the chief said.
The ring started in Florida where people were recruited to pick up the pills, they were sent to Holyoke where they were distributed and money deposited in bank accounts.
Neiswanger said that the main drug involved in the 10 month investigation was oxycodone, but heroin and weapons were also seized by police Thursday.
The arrests in Holyoke were only part of a larger sweep, which also resulted in 24 arrests in Florida, and 6 arrests in Puerto Rico.
The FBI, DEA, Massachusetts State Police, Hampden County District Attorney's Office, U.S. Attorney's Office, and Easthampton Police are among the many agencies that were involved in the investigation.
Several raids took place throughout Holyoke and Chief Neiswanger said he hopes this is a message to those involved in drugs to stay out of the city. "We do believe over a million dollars has exchanged hands between Holyoke and down in Florida."
This is the second raid in two weeks here in Holyoke but police say these two sweeps were not related.