BOSTON, Feb. 10, 2016—A three-month investigation by State Police assisted by Boston Police, Revere Police, and a Drug Enforcement Administration task force led to the recovery of a handgun and almost five pounds of narcotics from alleged drug traffickers operating in Boston and Revere, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
JORGE LUIS MENDEZ-BAEZ (D.O.B. 9/23/89) of Mattapan and LUIS MEDINA-FELICIANO (D.O.B. 8/25/75) of the South End were arraigned today in Chelsea District Court. Mendez-Baez was charged with distribution of a Class B substance, trafficking in more than 200 grams of a Class B substance, three counts of trafficking in a Class A substance, and conspiracy to violate the state’s drug laws. Medina-Feliciano was charged with distribution of a Class B substance as a second or subsequent offense, trafficking in a Class A substance, and conspiracy to violate the state’s drug laws.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Paull recommended that both men be held on $500,000 cash bail. Judge Matthew Nestor set bail at $50,000 each, ordering both men to stay away from one another while the case is pending.
State Police detectives assigned to the Suffolk DA’s office, with the assistance of State Police uniformed troopers and other assets, Boston Police, Revere Police, and DEA Task Force 2 arrested both men yesterday after they allegedly sold more than 200 grams of heroin to an undercover State trooper in a single transaction. At the time of his arrest, Medina-Feliciano had an additional 17 baggies of a substance believed to be heroin on his person.
Following the arrests, State and Boston police executed simultaneous search warrants at Baez’ home on Orlando Street and Medina-Feliciano’s home on West Newton Street, recovering more than two kilograms of a substance believed to be heroin and/or fentanyl, a white powder believed to be a cutting agent, and a Sig Sauer P223 .22 caliber semiautomatic handgun.
“When opiate overdoses in Suffolk County claim more than three times as many lives as illegal firearms, we can’t pretend that heroin trafficking is a victimless crime,” Conley said. “When police recover a handgun next to several pounds of narcotics, we can’t pretend that a drug trafficker is a nonviolent offender. This was careful, methodical work to disrupt a high-level narcotics distribution group, and it could very well save lives in Boston and beyond.”
The investigation began in October 2015, when State Police successfully introduced an undercover trooper to Baez. That trooper purchased trafficking-weight quantities of heroin and fentanyl from him on four occasions.
In the course of their efforts, State Police detectives learned that Boston Police Drug Control Unit detectives had an investigation into Medina-Feliciano, who was closely associated with Baez’ distribution operation. That convergence of investigations led to collaboration between the two agencies.
As part of the investigation, State troopers sought and obtained warrants from two Suffolk Superior Court judges to perform audio and video recording of the undercover drug transactions. Troopers also obtained a search warrant for his residence, where the gun and drugs were recovered, and Boston Police obtained a warrant for Medina-Feliciano’s residence.
Mendez-Baez was represented by attorney Alex Shapoval. Medina-Feliciano was represented by attorney Peter O’Karma. Both men will return to court on March 3.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.