Press Release

Press Release Five Arrested in Joint State, Federal Takedown of Major Opioid Trafficking Network Operating in Methuen and Lawrence

Investigators Seize Nearly 2,000 Oxycodone Pills During the Investigation
For immediate release:
6/14/2018
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for Five Arrested in Joint State, Federal Takedown of Major Opioid Trafficking Network Operating in Methuen and Lawrence

Meggie Quackenbush

BostonFive individuals were arrested and arraigned in connection with an ongoing joint state and federal investigation into a major opioid trafficking network operating in Methuen and Lawrence, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

In a joint operation between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team (CINRET), and State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, investigators arrested five individuals in connection with a narcotics trafficking operation on June 12 in Methuen and Lawrence. Law enforcement officials seized nearly 2,000 Oxycodone pills and more than 200 grams of cocaine during the course of the investigation.

The following individuals were arraigned in Lawrence District Court yesterday on the following charges:

Edgar Candelario, 34, of Lawrence
Distribution of a Class B Substance, Oxycodone (three counts)
Trafficking Oxycodone, 36 Grams or More (four counts)
Conspiracy to Violate Drug Laws (one count)
Bail set at $25,000 cash

Encebio Esperitusanto, 42, of Methuen
Trafficking Cocaine, 200 Grams or More (one count)
Trafficking Oxycodone, 36 Grams or More (two counts)
Conspiracy to Violate Drug Laws (one count)
Bail set at $10,000 cash

Yohannel Gil, 28, of Lowell
Distribution of a Class B Substance, Oxycodone (five counts)
Trafficking Oxycodone, 36 Grams or More (five counts)
Conspiracy to Violate Drug Laws (one count)
Bail set at $100,000 cash

Marco Martinez, 45, of Lawrence
Distribution of a Class B Substance, Oxycodone (one count)
Trafficking Cocaine, 200 Grams or More (one count)
Trafficking Oxycodone, 36 Grams or More (three counts)
Conspiracy to Violate Drug Laws (one count)
Bail set at $100,000 cash

Betsaida Valentin, 44, of Lawrence
Distribution of a Class B Substance, Oxycodone (one count)
Trafficking Cocaine, 200 Grams or More (one count)
Trafficking Oxycodone, 18 Grams or More (one count)
Trafficking Oxycodone, 36 Grams or More (one count)
Bail set at $15,000 cash

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and Judge Mark Newman set a probable cause hearing for July 13.

This is an ongoing investigation. These charges are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The AG’s Office has been committed to taking on the opioid epidemic on all fronts and this week announced that it is suing Purdue Pharma Inc., its executives and board members for misleading prescribers and consumers about the addiction risks of their opioids. The complaint alleges that Purdue contributed to the opioid epidemic, including the opioid-related deaths of more than 670 Massachusetts residents prescribed Purdue opioids since 2009 and thousands more who struggled with cycles of overdose and addiction.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Megan McLaughlin and Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Chief Gina Kwon of the AG’s Enterprise, Major and Cyber Crimes Division, the DEA, Massachusetts State Police CINRET, and State Police assigned to the AG’s Office. 

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Media Contact for Five Arrested in Joint State, Federal Takedown of Major Opioid Trafficking Network Operating in Methuen and Lawrence

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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