EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Easthampton Police arrested two men from Holyoke this week for allegedly selling heroin in Easthampton. Officer Chad Alexander told 22News officers set up a sting operation, and caught the suspects in the act.

Sequoia McDowell of Easthampton said, “Hearing about a heroin arrest in western Massachusetts isn’t terribly shocking because this has been an on-going issue for years.”

Left to right: Angel Rivera and Santiago V. Soltren-Ramirez. Courtesy of the Easthampton Police Department.

Police seized 87 bags of heroin and several hundred dollars in cash. They arrested Holyoke residents Angel Rivera and Santiago Soltren-Ramirez, who allegedly came to Easthampton for the sole purpose of selling heroin.

Both men are being charged with possession to distribute a Class A drug, and conspiracy to violate drug law. Easthampton Police wouldn’t specify where in the city the suspects were allegedly dealing heroin.

Ron Gendron of Easthampton said, “I’m shocked, but I’m not shocked that it came from Holyoke, that’s the only thing. There’s a lot of that that’s been transferred from here to there or wherever.”

“It’s not shocking to me at all. Just like guns, people are going to get them anyway even if you outlaw them,” said Andrea Guevin of Easthampton.

Massachusetts isn’t the only state dealing with this epidemic. The U.S. drug enforcement administration reports heroin seizures have gone up 81% nationwide over the last 5 years.