3 arrested in connection with alleged drug operation near Holyoke school


Three people are in custody after an investigation into illegal drug distribution across the street from an elementary school in Holyoke Monday, police say.

Lieutenant Jim Albert of the Holyoke Police Department told 22News 24-year-old Abimael Rivera of Springfield, 25-year-old Adiel Velez and 27-year-old Justine Walter, both of Holyoke, are facing charges after a joint police investigation into a drug operation in a second-floor apartment at 588 South Summer Street, right across the street from Morgan Elementary School.

Lt. Albert said officers seized a stolen semi-automatic handgun and ammunition, 2,850 bags of heroin, 78 bags of cocaine and $3,500 in cash.

The handgun was reported stolen from Statesville, North Carolina in January 2015.

Rivera is being charged with the following:

  • Trafficking in heroin, 36-100 grams
  • Trafficking in cocaine, 36-100 grams
  • Possession of firearm ammo without an FID card
  • Possession or carrying a loaded firearm
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
  • Improper storage of a firearm
  • Receiving a stolen property (handgun)

Velez is being charged with a default warrant and Walter is being charged with a straight warrant.

All three are scheduled to appear in Holyoke District Court on Tuesday, April 17.

Task force members from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Explosives assisted the Holyoke Police Department and FBI with the investigation.

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