FALL RIVER, Mass. (WJAR) — Police arrested 16 people on Friday in connection to a large-scale fentanyl trafficking investigation in Bristol County, the District Attorney's Office announced Monday.
The four-month-long investigation, "Operation Mouse Trap," resulted in the seizure of about 850 grams of fentanyl, 56 grams of cocaine, $19,000 in cash, prescription pills, and an illegal gun.
"These types of investigations are critical to continue to put pressure on drug dealers from peddling death on our streets," Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said at a press conference Monday.
Authorities coined "Operation Mouse Trap" after an investigation began into 41-year-old Michael "SQUEAK" Rebello, of Fall River, in September.
Police said Rebello trafficked large amounts of fentanyl into the Fall River area.
He was charged with conspiracy to violate the drugs laws, trafficking fentanyl over 10 grams, distribution of class A, subsequent. Rebello was held without bail.
"After an extensive and thorough investigation into the organization, investigators deemed it was necessary to begin intercepting the phone calls and text messages of members of the organization," Quinn said.
Investigators said that wiretap led them to Rebello's alleged top drug runner, 33-year-old Daniel Correira, of Fall River, and his two main alleged fentanyl suppliers, Adriny Bernard and Eladio Cabral, both from Rhode Island.
"While monitoring the phone lines for the suspected drug suppliers, investigators identified several other fentanyl traffickers in the Fall River area," Quinn said.
Bernard and Cabral were also charged with conspiracy to violate the drugs laws.
On Friday, police arrested 16 people, including Oscar Morales, of Providence, and seized large amounts of fentanyl, cocaine, cash, and an illegal gun.
"We're arresting and prosecuting drug traffickers. We're dismantling drug networks and we're taking millions of lethal doses of heroin off the streets," said Gina Kwon, Chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Criminal Bureau.
Quinn said fentanyl has led to an increase in fatal overdoses in the last five years in Bristol County. He said there have been about 194 fatal overdoses there so far this year.
Authorities also arrested the following people: