Boston Police and federal agents yesterday arrested two men in the parking lot of a Roslindale strip mall on charges they were fentanyl salesmen for the Sinaloa crime cartel, as part of a long-running investigation into Mexican drugs making their way to Boston.
Felipe Payano Delgado, 44, and Abraham Valdez Martinez, 26, who lived in two of the three apartments in a building on Cummins Highway near Oak Lawn Cemetery, were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, after allegedly making several sales of fentanyl pills to an undercover agent, according to federal court records unsealed yesterday.
According to an affidavit by a Boston Police detective working with the DEA, investigators began tracking fentanyl shipments from the cartel to Boston in May, 2022, when one undercover agent was introduced to a trafficker in Sinaloa, Mexico, who said he could arrange fentanyl sales in the Boston area.
The investigation into the two Roslindale men specifically began in February at the Charlestown 99 restaurant, where an undercover agent met with Payano Delgado to discuss terms of a possible sale, according to the affidavit, which says that two days later, the agent met him at the Walgreens in Egleston Square and got a 50-pill sample. The pills tested positive for fentanyl, the affidavit states.
The agent then made purchases in March and September, including paying $4,000 for "2,000 pressed fentanyl pills."
As part of the investigation, agents obtained warrants letting them place a tracking device on Payano Delgado's car and mounting a surveillance camera on a pole outside his apartment.
On Tuesday, the undercover agent contacted Payano Delgado to confirm another meeting at the Egleston Walgreens, where he would buy a kilo of fentanyl for $22,000 and 5,000 fentanyl pills for $10,000, the affidavit states.
Payano Delgado and Valdez Martinez,- and a third man who accompanied them - however, didn't make it that far. As agents staking them out watched, the three left in a Kia Sorrento shortly before 10 a.m., but then pulled into the parking lot of the nearby Stop & Shop strip mall.There, police surrounded the car and arrested them, the affidavit states.
In the trunk, the affidavit continues, police found and opened an after-market hiding spot, in which they found a laptop bag containing "what appeared to be a kilogram of suspected fentanyl with a stamp that appeared to read: “ESPANA” wrapped in clear cellophane," along with another wrapped package of pills.