Two Roslindale brothers were charged as leaders of a drug trafficking ring that also allegedly employed their mother - and several other people across the city - local and federal law enforcement officials said today. The ring allegedly did much of its business out of mom's apartment in the Archdale project.
Francisco Arias, 32, was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail at his arraignment today on six counts of conspiracy to violate the state’s drug laws, four counts of trafficking in heroin and one count each of money laundering and possession of a counterfeit note. The charges stem from a months-long federal, state and city investigation that resulted in raids on locations in Roslindale, Dorchester, Hyde Park and the South End, officials at the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, Boston Police and the FBI say
His brother, Vladimir Arias-Santana, 28, was held without bail pending his arraignment Monday on two counts of conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws and single counts of possession of a Class A substance with intent to distribute and money laundering.
Their mother, Nerys Santana, 52, was release on her own recognizance on charges of conspiracy to violate the state's drug laws and money laundering. In a statement, officials say:
Evidence developed during the past three and a half months suggests that Arias and Maldonado - an accessory after the fact to the 2002 shooting death of 25-year-old Pedro Vargas - maintained a drug trafficking organization that moved large quantities of heroin in Boston. Arias' brother, Arias-Santana, allegedly managed their street-level distribution. Their mother, Santana, allegedly allowed them to use her Brookway Road residence to meet with customers and stash money or drugs.
About $10,000 in cash was recovered from Santana's residence when Boston Police and FBI special agents executed a search warrant there yesterday morning. An additional $28,000 in cash was recovered from Santana-Arias’ girlfriend’s Roxbury home. About $2,000 in cash and $800 in counterfeit bills were recovered from Arias’ Seymour Street residence, and more than 40 grams of heroin and almost $3,000 were recovered from a hidden compartment at a Hyde Park Avenue residence where Arias frequently stayed.
Also picked up in the sweep: Pedro Hernandez, 46, of Lowell, who was arrested after a traffic stop in Hyde Park in October on drug charges along with his stepson, Elionel Burgos, 18, of Hyde Park. Hernandez had been freed pending a new trial on drug charges because part of the evidence against him had been examined by disgraced state chemist Annie Dookhan.
Burgos was himself charged as part of the Arias ring, officials say.
Officials said they had to turn to extensive wiretapping to pick up the evidence they needed for charges.