INVESTIGATION TARGETS WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS HEROIN SUPPLIERS

INVESTIGATION TARGETS WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS HEROIN SUPPLIERS

A lengthy investigation by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies yesterday resulted in the arrest of four suspects connected to an organization supplying heroin in western Massachusetts. In addition to the arrests of the four men, investigators seized a half-kilo of heroin, a firearm, and a large quantity of currency believed to be the proceeds of drug trafficking.

In February 2020, the west unit of the Massachusetts State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction and Enforcement Team (MSP CINRET) began an investigation into a heroin source of supply in Hampden County. The investigation involved purchases of large quantities of heroin bundled into “half packs” – a common form of packaging in western Massachusetts each consisting of 50 dosage units, or one gram, of the drug.

During the course of the investigation MSP CINRET Troopers identified the source as ENRIQUE ALICEA, 29, of West Springfield. The MSP unit joined with the Hampden County Narcotic Task Force and the FBI Gang Task Force to continue the investigation.

Over the last several months, investigators conducted hundreds of hours of surveillance and identified members and customers of ALICEA’s organization, including a violent Springfield crew with a history of firearms, assault, and drug crimes. Investigators were also able to identify methods by which the drugs were transported between New York state and Springfield.

At approximately 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, investigators rounded up the four suspects and placed them under arrest. Those participating in the arrests included Troopers from MSP CINRET, MSP Troop B, and the State Police Detective Unit for Hampden County, along with members of the Hampden County Narcotics Task Force, FBI Gang Task Force, and 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.

Arrested were:

  1. ENRIQUE ALICEA, 29, of West Springfield, charged with trafficking in heroin over 200 grams and conspiracy to violate drug laws;
  1. JOSHUA VAZQUEZ, 29, of Springfield, charged with trafficking in heroin over 200 grams and conspiracy to violate drug laws;
  1. JOSE ALICEA, 69, of West Springfield, charged with trafficking in heroin over 200 grams and conspiracy to violate drug laws; and
  1. TODD CRUZADO, 33, of Springfield, 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 intent to distribute.

Investigators executed search warrants at four residences and on three motor vehicles. They seized a Taurus 9mm pistol, approximately 500 grams of heroin, and approximately $20,000 in US currency.

The investigation is continuing.

The Office of Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni will prosecute the defendants.