Federal officials report arresting two local men on charges they used a Dorchester house to store and distribute cocaine, and a Methuen man on charges he supplied them with the drug from his own ring up in the Merrimack Valley
Luis Alfredo Baez, 51, and Luis Mejia Guerrero, 58, both of Roxbury, and Cesar Rodriguez-Sanquentin, 26, of Methuen were arraigned Tuesday in US District Court on one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. the US Attorney's office in Boston reports. All three were ordered held without bail pending a detention hearing.
Baez could face additional state charges: He was arrested in 2006 on a cocaine-trafficking charge in Middlesex County, but skipped out before he could come to trial, according to an affidavit by a Massachusetts state trooper who investigated them as part of a task force with Homeland Security and DEA. The affidavit also leaves open the possibility of additional arrests, refers to "members" of a drug-trafficking cell in Dorchester's Bowdoin/Geneva area allegedly headed up by Baez.
According to the affidavit, Baez and Guerrero used 23 Mt. Ida Rd., near Potosi and Bowdoin streets in Dorchester - and right next door to a substance-abuse halfway house - as a stash house for their drugs, under Baez's control.
They would often meet at what they called "the ranch" after Baez had finished a workout at the Planet Fitness on Neponset Avenue and driven over in his Honda Odyssey minivan.
Using wiretaps and agents in cars, investigators watched them conduct several drug trades in the area, according to the affidavit, which adds agents installed a pole-mounted surveillance camera outside the Mt. Ida house on March 26.
The affidavit describes how Baez and Rodriguez-Sanquentin were arrested on Monday, after agents monitoring their phone calls listened in on a call in which Rodriguez-Sanquentin agreed to drive a kilo of of cocaine to Mt. Ida Road to sell to Baez, whose stash of coke was allegedly running low. Or more precisely, Rodriguez-Sanquentin's wife would drive him - and their young daughter - to Mt. Ida Road, on the theory that being with your wife and kid would make any cops less suspicious, especially if your wife was the one driving.
It was a theory that proved faulty, the trooper writes: The investigators who had monitored the call asked State Police to stop the car on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester - which troopers did, near Malibu Beach.
Rodriguez-Sanquentin, the trooper writes, managed to call Baez to alert him he'd been stopped "near the beach." As troopers were ordering the family out of the car - and recovering a kilo of coke "wrapped in black tape inside a Chistmas bag" in the car's engine compartment - Baez decided to check things out for himself. According to the affidavit, Baez left the Mt. Ida Road house and drove over to Morrissey Boulevard. After observing the scene, he drove back to Mt. Ida Road - where he made a number of phone calls "indicating that his supplier had been stopped and that he needed to clean out his stash house," according to the affidavit.
Agents then watched him leave the house with a large black trash bag, put it in his minivan and drive off. They called Boston Police to request they stop him, which officers did on Townsend Street near Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury. On the front passenger-side floor, they found a large black trash bag containing a scale, clear plastic bags and "a large wooden box with a padlock," the affidavit states.
After obtaining search warrants, agents opened the box and found "three green plastic twists of a white powdery substance that agents suspect to be fentanyl," another plastic bag with suspected narcotics residue and $15,450 in cash. They found another $45,200 in cash at his Williams Street home - and $7,800 from Guerrero's home, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit does not specify the details of Guerrero's arrest.
They face potential prison sentences of up to 20 years - and fines of up to $1 million - if convicted.