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.