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Law Enforcement Announces Major Drug, Firearm Sweep


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Nearly two dozen suspected drug kingpins are off the streets of Springfield tonight as the U.S. Attorney’s office announces a huge, multi-agency sting.

Twenty-two Springfield men were charged Monday in federal and state court for either distributing drugs or unlawful possession of a firearm.

Paul Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorney for Mass. made that announcement just a few hours ago in the lobby of the federal courthouse on State Street.

Smith was flanked by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Police Commissioner John Barbieri and representatives from the FBI. DEA, Mass. State Police, and Hampden County Sheriff’s office.

All the agencies taking part in the coordinated arrests in an investigation that started back in 2013.

There were a total of 12 federal and four state indictments handed down, as well as four state complaints – all involving drugs or illegal guns – and all the offenses allegedly committed in and around Springfield.

Police Commissioner Barbieri says these men were major players and their arrests will go a long way in making the city safer, especially in light of the recent spike in violent crime.

“I think that the arrests of any one of these persons would have made the city a little safer. Taking 22 in one fell swoop, I think the citizens should sleep a little better tonight,” Barbieri says.

Again, 22 men charged. A total of 20 are now in custody. Two are on the run and considered fugitives.

Just today in the early morning hours, federal, state, and local law enforcement picked up and arrested 16 of them.

The charges carry penalties ranging anywhere from 10 years to life in prison if convicted.

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

  • trg

    You gotta be kidding right? All those agencies and they could only indict a couple dozen people? Anybody with half a desire could arrest that many in 10 minutes downtown.

    • Wanda Alter

      Seriously? Yes, they might be able to arrest many in 10 minutes but gathering enough evidence to make the charge stick and make a conviction probable takes time and allot of work. These men and women literally put their lives on the line for us to make our lives better and children and families safer. Shame on you for minimizing what they’ve done. I applaud all involved, great job.

      • fgdfg

        That is a lot of work for not much to show. Personally I Wanda what your motives are.

        • Wanda Alter

          ??? Your comment doesn’t even make sense.
          Taking 22 people who are dealing drugs or shooting at people is allot to show. How many lives will be saved because of it? Even one would be plenty – especially if it was your loved one..

          • fgh

            I guess I base that idea of more arrests on the recent arrest of over 100 people in Holyoke in one night several months ago.

          • Wanda Alter

            That’s understandable but count your “blessings” however small they seem. If I recall, some of that previous raid included Springfield residents.

  • alpinequeen

    It’s great to see this kind of news article instead of the bad ones for a change.

    • Anti Aunty

      Funny how we can be thinking the exact same thought, but yet opposite…

      • alpinequeen

        They say opposites attract, but it’s always proven to be a disaster fro me.

        • maw

          I AM attracted to you, but then I am also attracted to being probed by red hot metal pokers too, so take that in context.

          • alpinequeen

            I have to go look up context.

          • dfg

            con·text [kon-tekst] Show IPA
            the parts of a written or spoken statement thatprecede or follow a specific word or passage,usually influencing its meaning or effect: Youhave misinterpreted my remark because you took itout of context.
            the set of circumstances or facts that surrounda particular event, situation, etc.
            Mycology . the fleshy fibrous body of the pileusin mushrooms.

          • alpinequeen

            I’m still looking for the dictionary, thanks.

          • mom


          • David

            See how helpful I can be? Will you Marry me now? Please Ms Oposite?

          • mom
        • maw

          I am attracted to you, but then I am also attracted to being probed by red hot metal pokers too, so take that in context.

  • Agokne

    Arrests? Innocent until proven guilty. How about a story about those found guilty and their resultant sentences? And, bonus would be to compare the actual time to be spent behind bars for the original charges, vs. the mandatory sentencing for said charges. Until the sentencing matches the charges, it’s just the smoke & mirrors of our justice system, being used to placate the citizenry. See how bad things are? You NEED u$!

    • Mel

      That’s right stupid, just throw everyone in jail because you are too stupid to deal with the problem.

  • Jon Frost

    Check out Scranton, PA… since a few of these folks have been caught in Scranton, PA while wonted in MA for various serious crimes.

    • gfgf

      Isn’t that a known gang city? If they have gangs there and branches here it makes sense a lot of them will have records in both cities.

  • eman

    really 22 ? but they only got 20 and 2 r on the run then how safe is springfield with 2 armed fugitives on the run !!!!!! Springfield is the third-largest city in Massachusetts, with a population of 153,000 so how is arresting 20 not 22 people making our streets safer they need to do better then that……….. I went on crime files and there r so many people with warrants so I decide to look for these peoples name on facebook and found many of them so how is it that the cops cant find them ????? I live in a bad area in springfield and we r lucky if we see the cops on our street ive called them in the past to report crime and they don’t show up and if when they do show, the offenders r already gone….. the only way that the cops show up quickly is if there is a shooting!!!!!!! WE NEED MORE COPS ON OUR STREETS AND THEY SHOULD DO CHECKPOINTS IN CRIME INFESTED NEIGHBORHOODS, NOT ON EAST COLUMBUS ST ,,,, LOOKING FOR DRUNK DRVERS HOW ABOUT CHECKPOINTS IN THESE CRIME INFESTED NEIGHBORHOODS LOOKING FOR GUNS ,DRUGS AND FUGITIVES

    • Agokne

      Checkpoints? How about instituting profiling instead?

    • Wanda Alter

      People are understandably frightened and aggravated. Yes, you need more cops on the streets but you need more eyes as well. You need to come together with your neighbors AND the police to form neighborhood watches. Work together to take your neighborhoods back. Just like with the gangs their is strength in numbers. Where one person might be afraid to speak out, a neighborhood watch group can really help. Check out the link below.


      • sarge

        You are right, it is not a police problem, it’s a people problem that only the people can solve.

    • mom

      Checkpoints? LMFAO! Where do you think we are? Nazi Germany? Why not just shoot on sight?

      • EMAN

        shoot on site ???? how do we get from checkpoints to shoot on site ???? r u taking your meds???? and no shit this is not Germany maybe u need to go back there !!!!!! read the news??? the shooting r already happening and so r the checkpoints they do it all the time for drunk drivers but I get it u drive around drunk so u hate checkpoints!!!!!! lmao!!!!!!! lol make sure u renew your green card or passport U NAZI !!!!!!

        • maw

          You are a grade A moron. Top notch.

  • I’m not visable.

    Hope the efforts do not stop now, or for a long , long time. Check points and cameras in high crime areas are good ideas.

    • Wanda Alter

      Cameras sound like a good idea.