23 Arrests: ‘Major’ drug dealers caught in ‘Operation Dragnet’

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Mug shots of those arrested in Operation Dragnet

MANCHESTER, NH – Police detectives arrested 23 people as part of what they called “Operation Dragnet,”  the second time this year MPD’s Special Enforcement Division (SED) collaborated with other local and federal agencies for a sweep of drug dealers.

The operation began April 7 when detectives arrested Carlos Cruz, 24, of Manchester, at his Corning Road home during the early morning hours. Detectives from the Special Enforcement Division’s Street Crime and Special Investigative Division, along with SWAT team members executed two search warrants simultaneously. One of the search warrants was conducted at the Corning Road home and a Concord Street address.

Heroin seized in a drug sweep on April 7,, that included 27 arrests.
Heroin seized in a drug sweep on April 7,, that included 27 arrests.

An undercover detective started investigating Cruz several months ago and identified him as a major supplier of both heroin and cocaine through Manchester. Cruz allegedly used the two addresses to sell large quantities of both drugs to multiple people, including the undercover detective.

Cruz was charged with one count possession with intent to distribute a controlled drug (felony); one count possession of a controlled drug (felony); falsifying physical evidence (felony); one count possession of a controlled drug (misdemeanor). He was also held on a 72-hour probation/parole violation, so no bail was set. Detectives seized $2,968 in cash, 13.8 grams cocaine (street value $1,400); 11.5 grams marijuana (value $10) and one single alprazolam tablet.

Officers and agents gathered at police headquarters at 5 a.m. April 8 to execute 44 arrest warrants for those allegedly engaged in illicit drug sales over the past six to 12 months. The operation was made up of 12 separate arrest teams from the various law enforcement agencies involved. The multi-agency collaboration resulted in the arrest of 23 individuals.

Some of the targets of the investigation had connections to one another, so it was imperative for arresting officers to arrive at the various locations in a rapid succession. The multiple arrest teams executed the arrest warrants at various locations between 5 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Most were arrested at their own home except Wascar Melo, 23 of Dorchester, Mass., who was arrested at Castillo’s Belmont Market, 422 Belmont Street by members of New Hampshire State Police NIU. He was in possession of almost $15,000 cash; 50 grams of heroin (street value $5,000) and 17.5 grams of cocaine (street value $3,000). He had two arrest warrants for sale of a controlled drug. He was also charged with possession with intent to distribute as a result of the drugs seized.

  • Kenny Errico, 25 of Manchester, 3 Counts of Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin and Cocaine).
  • Gregory Lajoie, 37, Raymond, 2 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin).
  • Willie Player, 30, Manchester, 2 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug (Crack Cocaine).
  • Keith Haskell, 34, Goffstown, 1 Count Sale of a Controlled Drug (Cocaine).
  • Daniel Brignoni, 33, Manchester, NH. 2 Counts Sale of a Contolled Drug (Cocaine).
  • Shanti Jehlicka (Santiago-Martinez), 21, Manchester, 2 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin)
  • Brittany Hunt, 25, Bedford, 3 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin).
  • Jason Johnson, 23, Allenstown, 1 Count Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin).
  • Brystal Razo, 25, Derry, 1 Count Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin).
  • Edward Gallien, 34, Manchester,  4 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin).
  • Timothy Hickman, 40, Manchester, 3 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin).
  • Krystal Gallien, 37, Manchester, 1 Count Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin).
  • Ashlie Groulx, 26, Manchester,  4 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug (Cocaine and Oxycontin)
  • Juan Molina, 25, Manchester, 2 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug (Oxycontin).
  • Daniel Lalanne, 43, Manchester, 1 Count Sale of a Controlled Drug (Heroin).
  • James Hall, 51, Manchester, 2 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug (Cocaine).
  • Ronald Mariano, 48, Manchester, 1 Count Sale of a Controlled Drug (Crack Cocaine).
  • Katherine Plumpton, 31, Manchester,  1 Count Sale of a Controlled Drug (Oxycontin)
  • Christopher Turgeon, 30, Manchester, Capias 1 Count Possession of Oxycontin
  • Hunter Decasto, 21, Manchester, (no photo). 1 Count Sale of Controlled Drug (Heroin)
  • Johnny Bill Young, 31, Manchester,  (no photo) 3 Counts Sale of a Controlled Drug Marijuana)

In addition to Manchester Police the following agencies were involved in the sweep: United States Attorney’s Office; Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office; New Hampshire State Police (Narcotics Investigative Unit); Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department; United States Drug Enforcement Agency (HIDTA); New Hampshire Probation and Parole; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Homeland Security and Immigration; Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the United States Marshal’s Service for a multi person round-up.


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About Carol Robidoux 5454 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.