Massachusetts. – During the so-called “Operation Emerald Crush”, carried out by the FBI, the DEA, local police and other law enforcement agencies, 18 gang members of the Trinitario were arrested, including one of 63 years of age, with more than half of a group of 32 suspects accused of drug trafficking, weapons and other serious crimes.
Prosecutors said the Trinitario gang members “are wired” for violence and linked to a variety of serious violent crimes they committed in the Greater Lawrence area (The Great Lawrence in that city of Massachusetts.
The suspects were formally indicted in the federal court of the Boston district, and the youngest belong to a cell called “” Baby Trinis, “which sold firearms and were recruited at Methuen and Lawrence high schools, the Agent said. Special in charge of the FBI division in Boston, Joseph Bonavolonta.
“Some of our young people are being attracted to participate in all aspects of this gang,” Bonavolonta said.
The operation was part of a local, state and federal investigation against weapons, drugs and illegal gang activities, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies said at a press conference.
Some 79 firearms were seized in the operation, including pistols and assault rifles.
“As you can see, they are interconnected for violence,” Bonavolonta said of the Trinitario. “We believe they are involved in everything from drug trafficking, armed robbery, home invasions, kidnappings and shootings.”
The defendants in Operation Emerald Crush are residents of the cities of Methuen, Lawrence, Haverhill, Lynn and Salem (Massachusetts).
Two minors were captured in the operation.
The one-year investigation culminated last Friday morning with the arrests, Massachusetts federal prosecutor Andrew Lelling said to Lawrence Lawrence Vasque, Bonavolonta and other police officers.
Vasque praised everyone who worked on the investigation, noting that his efforts are “exceptional and very necessary.”
Investigators included detectives of the unit against gangs and anti narcotics of Lawrence.
“It’s things like this and what we are doing daily ourselves that can have a real impact on the community. I think it’s a home run,” Vasque said.
Lelling said the Trinitario are a violent Dominican street gang that originated at the Rikers Island prison facility in New York City in 1990.
“There are dozens of Trinitario members in Lawrence and the surrounding communities, involved in a wide range of crimes, including arms trafficking, drug trafficking and violence,” he said.
Officials said those arrested have sold a large number of firearms and a variety of controlled substances, including fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.
Prosecutor Lelling also said that many of the defendants have extensive and violent criminal histories, including a defendant with 54 arrests in his history of drug trafficking, firearms crimes, assault and assault on a police officer.
Bonavolonta, in his observations, said that during the operation, the researchers bought a large number of weapons, 79 in total and firearms from 17 subjects on 44 different occasions.
The M-4, AK-47, TEC-9 rifles, along with guns, revolvers and two bulletproof vests, were confiscated along with the other weapons and seventeen of them were reported stolen and two were used in shootings, he said.
“One of the subjects sold us 27 weapons. Another sold us 16,” Bonavolonta said. “Apart from the seemingly endless offer, what worries us in the same way is the fact that we bought four of these firearms from minors.”
Bonavolonta said he expected a clear message to be sent through the operation: “If you are trafficking weapons and drugs in our cities, you will wake up one morning with law enforcement at your door.”
The prosecutor highlighted a major national initiative announced last week by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to combat armed violence and do more to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, gang members, the mentally ill and others that could endanger communities.
Those accused of drug trafficking and distribution, depending on the amount, face life imprisonment and 20 years in prison and fines of up to $ 10 million.
Those convicted of federal firearms charges face up to 10 years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine.
The defendants are Arismendy Gil Padilla, (Flow), Jonathan Arias, Emilio Rodríguez, Enrique Rosario, John Harry Morales, José Aponte, José Omar Hernández Aragones, (Omar), Kevin Gómez, (Monkey), Keysi Batista and Luis Ruiz González.
Also, Yisthen Ynoa, (Cantinflas), Pedro Arias, Jonathan Delgado, Víctor Díaz, Luis Díaz Brito (Blackie), Yolvie Díaz Martínez,
Ulises Espinal (Ezequiel), Robinson Gastón Santana, Francis Gotay, José Núñez, (Oreja), Anthony Núñez Romano, Alexis Paredes (Head), Kevin Pérez Lorenzo, Guaril Poche Brito (Chamaquito), Kenneth Rodríguez, Temistocles Santana, Jael Guillen Pérez , Alan Acosta, Abigail Arias and Eliezer Taveras (Bad Bunny).