Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Announces Indictments and Arrests of Numerous Individuals Connected to Widespread Drug Distribution Ring in Boston
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BOSTON - Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office, Massachusetts State Police and the Boston Police Department (BPD) announce the indictments of 15 individuals in connection with a conspiracy to traffic and distribute large amounts of cocaine, and conspiring to commit assaults in the Greater Boston area. Seven of these defendants were arrested this morning, and the other eight are already in custody on unrelated matters. This investigation targeted a violent street gang in the city of Boston known as the Magnolia Steelers. The arrests are the result of a joint operation conducted by the Attorney General's Office, the Massachusetts State Police and the Boston Police dubbed "Operation 1370," with the number representing the temperature at which steel melts.
On September 30, 2009, local and state authorities, with assistance from U.S. Marshals, arrested the fugitive Christian Miranda, age 39, of Roxbury, after an aggressive, three-month multi-state search by authorities. Miranda had eluded law enforcement since late June 2009 after fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle stop where authorities attempted to arrest him. Miranda was charged in June with Trafficking in Cocaine over 100 grams, Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substances Act, and Illegal Possession of a Firearm (2 Counts). Miranda was arrested in Quincy without incident by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office, as well as Boston Police and the U.S. Marshals. He was then brought to the South Boston State Police Barracks where he was processed, and subsequently was taken to Quincy District Court where he was arraigned, pled not guilty, and was ordered held on $100,000 bail for charges arising out of his arrest in Quincy for Trafficking in Cocaine.
Three other co-defendants were also previously arrested and indicted on similar drug and firearms charges in connection with this investigation, prior to today's arrests. On June 22, 2009, Joselito Torres Vasquez, age 31, of Boston, and Miguel Pena, age 32, of Hyde Park, were arrested by law enforcement at the same scene from which Miranda had fled. On June 21, 2009, Christian Teixiera, age 24, of Boston, was also arrested on firearms-related charges by authorities in connection with this case.
Since August 2008, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office and the Boston Police Department have been conducting a joint investigation into violent street gang activity in the City of Boston. This investigation focused on a violent gang known as the Magnolia Steelers. Utilizing state-of-the art investigative techniques, investigators and prosecutors developed evidence against these individuals. Today's arrests are the result of indictments that to date charge 15 individuals for crimes relating to narcotics trafficking, unlawful firearms possession, and violent assaults. This morning over 100 police officers executed numerous search and arrest warrants at various locations throughout eastern Massachusetts. Investigators discovered that the defendants allegedly operated an ongoing drug distribution ring throughout the city, trafficking and selling large quantities of marijuana and cocaine in Dorchester, Roxbury, Downtown Boston, and Quincy.
All of the defendants arrested this morning will be arraigned later this afternoon in Suffolk Superior Court. The defendants who were already in custody will be arraigned at a later date.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Patrick Hanley, of Attorney General Coakley's Enterprise and Major Crimes Division, and Senior Trial Counsel Eileen O'Brien of Attorney General Coakley's Criminal Bureau. The case was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office and the Boston Police Department. Other law enforcement agencies provided assistance during the course of this investigation, including, the United States Marshals Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Norfolk County District Attorney's Office, the Randolph Police Department and the MBTA Transit Police.
View complete list of defendants indicted in connection with Operation 1370 Investigation:
Listen to the press conference audio from October 7, 2009:
Operation 1370 Press Conference file size 13MB