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- Friday, April 21, 2017
Page 6
12-6 P.M. $7.50
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12-11 P.M. $7.50
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Located Adjacent to Rite Aid Pharmacy
in Saugus Plaza, South Bound Route 1
MBTA Bus Route 429
min. of 10 kids.
Price includes Adm. +
Roller Skates. Cake, soda,
paper goods, 20 tokens for
birthday person plus 100
Redemption Party
held Tickets
gift from Roller
World. in one of
our private BP
Rooms for 1/2hour.
and a
(978) 836-6010
Hemlock Mulch
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per yard
Fifteen arrested in massive drug sting include Peabody man
By Melanie Higgins
n a massive drug sting that
involved the arrests of 15
individuals, police also appre-
hended 31-year-old Peabody
manVladimir Arias (aka Orlan-
do Robles, aka Franklin Arias).
Arias is charged with conspir-
acy to distribute a kilogram
or more of heroin and unlaw-
ful use of communication fa-
cilities in committing or facil-
itating the commission of fel-
ony, controlled substance of-
Arias was allegedly one of
two middlemen in an inter-
national drug operation that
spanned three states and was
being heavily tracked by the
FBI for the past seven months
in a sting called“OperationTri-
ple Play,” possibly referring to
the three states involved: Mas-
sachusetts, Rhode Island and
Connecticut. According to the
police, the operationwas cen-
tered in Providence, R.I., and is
referred to as the“Valdez Drug
Trafficking Organization,” af-
ter the three Valdez siblings
– Hector (47), Juan (50) and
Claudio (44) – who ran the
group, originally from the Do-
minican Republic. The trio had
been deported four previous
times for drug-trafficking con-
victions, and were also picked
up in the sting.
Arias was allegedly one of
at least three other “suppli-
ers” that the group relied on
to procure its drugs for sale,
which included heroin, fen-
tanyl and cocaine. The other
members included referenc-
es to a man called “the Mae-
stro” located in the Domini-
can Republic, and “the Doc-
tor,”who authorities believe is
located in Mexico, along with
another middleman in Provi-
dence. Reportedly, the group
hid their drugs at “stash hous-
es”in Rhode Island, specifically
103-105Woodbine St. in Cran-
ston and Apt. 3F at 87 Dulude
Ave. in Woonsocket.
Police began making ar-
rests on Monday (April 10),
which includedArias, whowas
nabbed by R.I. state police as
he drove back to Massachu-
setts on Route 95. He was al-
legedly found with close to a
kg of heroin stashed in his car,
probably fromwhat police de-
termined was a drug transac-
tion earlier that day. Two oth-
er individuals who were not
associated with the drug op-
erationwere apprehended on
charges of immigration viola-
tions. The rest of the arrests,
which commenced at 6 p.m.
the next day, took nine others
into custody.
In addition to the suspects,
authorities reportedly seized
fentanyl, cocaine and crack
cocaine valuing $680,000 and
$95,000 in cash, and nine ve-
Authorities say their success
was based on video and au-
dio evidence of drug transac-
tions, wiretaps and searching
through the suspects’ trash,
in addition to two informants.
One suspect remains at large.
“As al leged, the Valdez
brothers trafficked in all types
of drugs and profited from
the addictions that have de-
stroyed lives and torn apart
families here in New Eng-
land,” said Harold H. Shaw,
Special Agent in Charge of
the FBI Boston Field Division,
in a press release dated April
13. “This case illustrates that
drug cartels based in foreign
countries will go anywhere to
distribute their deadly prod-
ucts. The FBI’s Safe Streets
Task Force will do everything
it can to disrupt and disman-
tle drug trafficking organiza-
tions that threaten the safe-
ty and stability of our neigh-
The case is especially nota-
ble given the new president’s
increased focus on fighting
the illegal drug trade, which
he argues is propagatedmain-
ly by illegal immigrants. Just
days earlier, Attorney General
Jeff Sessions had sent amemo
to state Attorneys General ask-
ing them to focus on just that.
Sessions praised the arrests as
a step in that direction.
“The President hasmade the
dismantlement and destruc-
tion of drug cartels a top pri-
ority, and cases like these are
integral in that effort,”Sessions
said.“When lawenforcement –
federal, state and local – work
together like these partners in
Rhode Island, we will be one
step closer to fulfilling this
goal and protecting our com-
The illegal drug trade brings
in an estimated150billiondol-
lars in revenue in North Amer-
ica and 360 billion worldwide,
according to the D.C.--based
Organization of American
States statistics.
“What is Climate Change and
Why Should I Care?” at the South
Branch of the Peabody Library
h e S o u t h B r a n c h i s
pleased to welcome Dr.
Jeremy Shakun as he demys-
tifies cl imate change. Cl i-
mate change is mentioned
frequently in the news me-
dia, but what is it exactly
and how does it affect us?
Dr. Shakun will be here to
take his scientific expertise
and relay it to attendees in
plain, understandable lan-