"Operation Buzzards Prey" Disrupts Cape Cod Drug Ring
By: Elise R. Hugus
Local and state police broke up a major cocaine and heroin distribution ring yesterday morning, arresting 27 Cape Cod residents in what police are calling “Operation Buzzards Prey.”
Shortly after 6 AM, more than 200 police officers initiated a sweep of several homes in Falmouth, Mashpee, Bourne, Barnstable, and Yarmouth, aided by a Boston SWAT team, according to information provided by police.
The arrests were the result of a three-year investigation into drug trafficking on Cape Cod during which two kilograms of cocaine and over 300 grams of heroin were seized.
What started as an investigation by the Bourne Police Department into a Wareham-Hyannis drug ring evolved into a major operation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the US Postal Service, the Massachusetts State Police Drug Task Force, the Barnstable and Plymouth County sheriffs’ offices, and police departments in Wareham, Scituate, and Braintree.
“As it so often happens, significant cases are made by local police doing their job,” said District Attorney Michael D. O’Keefe in a press conference held yesterday afternoon at the Falmouth Police Department.
“This effort will not eliminate cocaine and heroin from the Cape or Southeastern Massachusetts. But it will disrupt its distribution, and send a signal to those who would put drugs into our communities that we will find, arrest, and prosecute you.”
The case involved federally authorized wiretapping of seven cellular phones, surveillance, and confidential informants, said Falmouth Police Captain Edward A. Dunne. Three years is a normal length of time for an in-depth investigation, he said.
Jack W. Pirozzolo, the first assistant US Attorney for Massachusetts, described a network in which drugs were smuggled onto Cape Cod, then distributed down a chain of command to smaller suppliers.
“This case is significant, not only in the size and scope of the arrests,” he said. “The drug problem is pervasive throughout suburban communities, including Cape Cod.”
A Pyramid Scheme
According to a chart presented by Mr. Pirozzolo, Joel Arias, 25, and Omay “Papa Doc” Ford, 41, both of Boston, supplied the cocaine and heroin to a distribution pyramid that trickled down the Cape.
ALSO ARRESTED YESTERDAY ON FEDERAL DRUG CHARGES:
Thomas E. Gilson, 47, of Pawkannawkut Drive, Yarmouth
Richard K. Jackson, 52, of Crooked Meadow Road, East Falmouth
Delrico Graham, 50, of Hiacoomes Way, Mashpee
Gregory L. Slayton, 54, of Great Neck Road, Mashpee
Stefan A. Pina, 40, of Central Avenue, East Falmouth
Jonathan L. McGee Baker, 23, of Heritage Circle, East Falmouth
Jeremy Wobecky, 37, of Kathy Ann Lane, Falmouth
Bonnie G. Bearse, 48, of Pine Valley Drive, East Falmouth
THOSE ARRESTED ON DRUG CONSPIRACY CHARGES AND ARRAIGNED IN FALMOUTH DISTRICT COURT:
Wilberto Alvaredo, 39, of Davisville Road, East Falmouth
Nelson Baptiste Jr., 51, of Veeder Drive, Falmouth
Kenneth Mills, 41, of Central Avenue, East Falmouth
Lea Marie Jones, 51, of Alderberry Lane, East Falmouth
Angela G. Antone, 43, of Avalon Drive, East Falmouth
Joseph Gonsalves, 61, of Main Street, Falmouth
Brian J. Hunt, 46, of Blacksmith Shop Road, West Falmouth
Dale Oakley, 52, of Main Street, Mashpee
Thomas Q. Hendricks, 52, of Meetinghouse Road, Mashpee
Timothy D. Bochanowski, 47, of Paddock Circle, Mashpee
Angela M. Young, 31, of Mashpee
Guy Nelson, 55, of Oneida Street, Mashpee
Douglas G. Richards, 46, of Mitchell’s Way, Barnstable
Daniel D. Tavares, 43, of Nathan Ellis Highway, Mashpee
Wayne Sylvia, 63, of Yarmouth Road, Barnstable
Dane C. Delouche, 27, of Dale Street, Bourne
Based upon evidence obtained in hundreds of intercepted phone calls, law enforcement agents identified Russell Rose, 30, of Randolph, Kelvin Frye, 28, of Wareham, Kyle S. Hicks, 28, of Great Neck Road, Mashpee, and Adalberto Graciani, 37, of Santuit Road, Marstons Mills, as leaders of the alleged distribution network.
Mr. Frye, who grew up in Falmouth, was arrested in December with Mr. Rose and Mr. Ford on drug conspiracy charges.
At a detention hearing in federal court in Boston on December 3, Mr. Frye agreed to voluntary detention without prejudice, meaning he will be held in the custody of US marshals until his trial. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation for a conviction in another federal case.
Michael P. Andrews, 23, of Whitecaps Lane, East Falmouth, is also currently in federal custody awaiting trail on charges connected with the alleged conspiracy.
Anthony Vaughn, 32, was also charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and heroin. He is currently serving a prison sentence in Louisiana as a result of a prior drug trafficking conviction.
Drugs, Guns, Cars And Boats Seized
Mr. Pirazzolo declined to comment on the source of the drugs, but said that they were concealed in packages that could be smuggled into a prison or sent through the US mail, such as a Little Debbie chocolate pie or in children’s toys.
Several vehicles were seized as part of the investigation, including Sea-Ray power boat and a limousine owned by Executive Transport and Limousine, a company operated by Brian J. Hunt, of Blacksmith Shop Road, West Falmouth.
A 9-millimeter Smith and Wesson handgun was also found at Mr. Hicks’s residence.
Several of the alleged drug dealers are well known to law enforcement, and many had been released under federal supervision after drug-related convictions, he said.
It is too early to tell the street value of the drug and property seizures because they are still being inventoried and tested, Mr. Pirozzolo said.
As Falmouth Police Chief Anthony J. Riello pointed out, Falmouth “has the dubious distinction of having a third of those arrested living in Falmouth.”
During the sweep, three more arrests were made for people not connected with the bust on charges of assault and battery on state police officers.
No serious injuries were incurred, said Captain Dunne.
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