WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Four men connected to an organization supplying heroin in western Massachusetts were arrested Tuesday.
According to Massachusetts State Police spokesman Dave Procopio, in February 2020 the Massachusetts State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction and Enforcement Team started an investigation into a heroin source of supply in Hampden County.
The investigation involved purchases of large amounts of heroin that were bundled into “half packs” which consists of 50 dosage units, or one gram of the drug. Procopio said this is a common form of packaging in western Massachusetts.
Procopio said State Police determined that 29-year-old Enrique Alicea of West Springfield was the source of the organization.
State Police, the Hampden County Narcotic Task Force, and the FBI Gang Task Force continued investigating and over the last several months were able to identify members and customers of Alicea’s organization, including a violent Springfield crew with a history of firearms, assault, and drug crimes.
Investigators also identified how the drugs were transported between New York state and Springfield.
According to Procopio, at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, investigators located and arrested Alicea, 29-year-old Joshua Vazquez of Springfield, 69-year-old Jose Alicea of West Springfield, and 33-year-old Todd Cruzado of Springfield.
Enrique Alicea, Joshua Vazquez and Jose Alicea were all charged with trafficking in heroin over 200 grams and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Todd Cruzado was charged with possession of a firearm without a license to carry, unlawful carrying of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a Firearm Identification Card, and possession of a class A narcotic with the intent to distribute.
In addition to the arrests of the four men, investigators seized a half-kilo of heroin, a firearm, and a large quantity of money believed to be the profits from drug trafficking.
Investigators also executed search warrants at four residences and on three motor vehicles where they seized a Taurus 9mm pistol, approximately 500 grams of heroin, and approximately $20,000 in US currency.
State Police troopers, troopers from the State Police Detective Unit for Hampden County, members of the Hampden County Narcotics Task Force, FBI Gang Task Force, Berkshire County Drug Task Force, federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations, Officers from the Springfield, West Springfield, Easthampton, Westfield, and Holyoke Police Departments, and members of the Hampden County and Berkshire County Sheriff’s Departments all assisted with the investigation. The investigation is ongoing