HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTXF) - Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced felony charges against 15 people for selling heroin and cocaine in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties in a drug ring that extended its criminal activities to Massachusetts as well.
Over a 6-month period in 2016, the drug dealers transported and sold approximately 4 kilograms of heroin valued at $700,000 and 5 kilograms of cocaine valued at $500,000.
The dealers sold the drugs in Philadelphia and Montgomery County, as well as Boston and Lawrence, Massachusetts.
“These dealers trafficked heroin and cocaine across state lines – and sold their drugs in Philadelphia and Montgomery County,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Today we’ve shut this band of drug dealers down. We will remain vigilant and merciless towards anyone peddling these poisons in our communities.”
A statewide investigating grand jury identified Julio “Papon” Martinez and his sister, Chislaine “Chile” Romero, as the primary targets of its investigation.
Martinez and Romero obtained heroin and cocaine from various sources and then sold and directed others to sell the drugs to others in the Philadelphia region and Massachusetts.
On November 30, 2016, Alvin Henandez Almanzar, a member of the Martinez drug operation, agreed to sell an undercover detective 400 grams of heroin. He enlisted the help of his supplier, a New York City heroin and cocaine distributor named Jose Calderon, to fill the order.
When Almanzar and Calderon arrived at the meeting location to make the sale, they were arrested by undercover police officers.
Further investigation by law enforcement led to the seizure of various quantities of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and one semi-automatic handgun at drug stash houses used by the Martinez operation.
Attorney General Shapiro commended strong law enforcement collaboration across state and county lines.
“I want to thank the Philadelphia Police Department, Pottstown Police Department, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County Prison and Massachusetts State Police for their assistance in this investigation. Law enforcement collaboration makes our communities safer.”
“The opioid epidemic knows no state boundaries and we must work together to disrupt multi-state trafficking networks,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. “I thank Attorney General Shapiro and his office for working closely with our State Police to go after these criminals who were bringing these deadly drugs into our communities.”
The following defendants are charged with corrupt organizations, violations of the controlled substance act, criminal conspiracy and related offenses:
Julio “Papon” Rodrigues Martinez, Age Unknown, of Farnham Street, Lawrence, Massachusetts
Chislaine “Chile” M. Herrera Romero, 31
Alvin H. Almazar, 30, of Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia
Jose J. Calderon, 32, of Seymour Avenue, Bronx, New York
Shelton Speaks, 27, of Ditman Street, Philadelphia
Heidy Rafelina Dejesus Grullon, Age Unknown
Samuel E. Pacheco-Torres, 32, of Revere Street, Philadelphia
Nakeshia Arnette, 37, of North Evans Street, Pottstown
Jay Harris, 33, address undetermined
Julio Angel Solis-Huertas, 34, of Minor Street, Philadelphia
Gemena Cameal Gopie, 34, of Devereaux Avenue, Philadelphia
Yixcerini Rodriguez, 33, of Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia
Jennifer Solis, 32, of B Street, Philadelphia
Bladimil Burgos-Ortiz, 41, of Revere Street, Philadelphia
Ery H. Carrero-Sepulveda, 27, of B Street, Philadelphia
All the defendants were arraigned and held on $250,000 cash bail, pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for January 3, 2018.