12 Arrested As Part Of Western Massachusetts Cocaine Syndicate
Here's an early Christmas present in terms of getting a small portion of drugs off the streets. Twelve people were recently arrested as part of a multi-agency investigation into a huge cocaine trafficking operation.
The Greenfield Recorder reports according to the Northwestern District Attorney's Office, a dozen suspects from Greenfield, Deerfield, Montague, Ludlow, Charlemont, and West Springfield were arrested over the course of several days.
Investigators believe that the trafficking syndicate distributed between 100 and 200 grams of cocaine a day through Franklin and Hampshire counties and the North Quabbin area.
The investigation reached a crucial point on December 14, when the Northwestern District Anti-Crime Task Force organized the simultaneous execution of multiple search warrants allowing them to seize the alleged syndicate's stash of cocaine and other evidence.
Among those arrested were two brothers, 35-year-old Brandon Rice of Hatfield and 38-year-old Daniel Rice of West Springfield, who allegedly lead the trafficking organization. Both men were charged with trafficking cocaine over 200 grams and conspiracy to violate the drug laws.
Both men were ordered held on $500 thousand cash bail and their cases continued until Jan. 14, 2022, according to the DA's office. Also arrested in the operation were 38-year-old Nathan Ortiz from Greenfield, 31-year-old Heather Symanski from Greenfield, 28-year-old David Gallegos from Deerfield, 29-year-old Jaimilee Bontempi from Deerfield, 40-year-old Jason Nadeau from Ludlow, 42-year-old Jason Byrd from Greenfield, 46-year-old Robert Blake from Greenfield, 37-year-old Damek Ryan from Montague, 37-year-old Rebekah Thompson from Charlemont, 38-year-old David Caplice from Greenfield, and 43-year-old Wayne Rockwood from Greenfield.
All were charged and held on various counts of trafficking and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Thompson, Gallegos, Bontempi, and Ryan were released on personal recognizance.
For more on the story, please the Recorder's website here.