Four arrested, arraigned in connection with drug trafficking operation in Lawrence

Crime

Law enforcement seized a total of 990 grams of fentanyl/heroin and 100 grams of cocaine

LAWRENCE, Mass. (DOJ) – Four individuals have been arrested and arraigned in connection with a joint state and federal drug trafficking investigation in which law enforcement seized approximately 990 grams of fentanyl/heroin and 100 grams of cocaine, Attorney General Maura Healey announced.

Jose Castillo Baez, 43, Kirci Lara, 26, Keily Manuel Lara, 19, and Francisco Morales, 35, were arrested Tuesday in Lawrence and arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence District Court on multiple counts of drug charges.

The charges are the result of an investigation by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and the Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team (CINRET) North, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Hampshire State Police and Homeland Security Investigations.

Jose Castillo Baez was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the following charges:

  • Trafficking 36-100 Grams of Heroin/Fentanyl (3 Counts)
  • Trafficking 200 or More Grams of Heroin/Fentanyl
  • Trafficking 100-200 Grams of Cocaine
  • Distribute Class B (Cocaine) 
  • Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws 
  • Reckless Endangerment of a Child

Kirci Lara was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the following charges:

  • Trafficking 36-100 Grams of Heroin/Fentanyl (3 Counts)
  • Trafficking 18-36 Grams of Heroin/Fentanyl
  • Trafficking 100-200 Grams of Heroin/Fentanyl
  • Trafficking 200 Grams or More of Heroin/Fentanyl
  • Trafficking 100-200 Grams of Cocaine
  • Distribution Class B (Cocaine)
  • Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws
  • Reckless Endangerment of a Child

Keily Manuel Lara was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the following charges:

  • Trafficking 36-100 Grams of Heroin/Fentanyl
  • Trafficking 200 Grams or More of Heroin/Fentanyl
  • Trafficking 100-200 Grams of Cocaine
  • Distribution Class B (Cocaine) 
  • Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws 
  • Reckless Endangerment of a Child

Francisco Morales was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the following charges:

  • Trafficking 200 Grams or More of Heroin/Fentanyl
  • Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws

Castillo Baez, Lara, and Manuel Lara were each held on $200,000 and Morales was held on $100,000. All four defendants were also ordered to surrender their passports.

During the execution of a search warrant at a Lawrence apartment on Tuesday, law enforcement seized approximately 990 grams of fentanyl/heroin, 101 grams of cocaine, and approximately $1,400 in cash. Lara’s 7-month-old old child was discovered in a vehicle with Lara during a stop by police and DCF came to the scene to take custody of the baby. The drug seizures followed a series of 10 controlled undercover drug buys in Massachusetts during an investigation that spanned three months.

The defendants are due back in Lawrence District Court on Nov. 19 for a probable cause hearing. All of these charges are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Caitlin McDermott of the AG Healey’s Enterprise, Major, and Cyber Crimes Division.

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