Cohasset police say they broke up a major cocaine ring on the South Shore when they arrested two men in a Stop and Shop parking lot on Thursday and seized 65 packets of cocaine stuffed inside a potato chip can.
Police later searched a Roslindale apartment, which they believed was the men’s base of operations, and found another half-kilogram of the drug, according to Cohasset Deputy Chief William Quigley. He said police also seized three vehicles and an undetermined amount of cash.
“These guys were supplying the majority of the cocaine sold on the South Shore, everyone along the [Route] 3A corridor from Boston" south, Quigley said. He said police expect to make at least one more arrest.
Arrested were Rafael Torres, 30, of Roslindale, and Gabriel A. Martinez, 27, of Dorchester. Both men were charged with trafficking in cocaine over 18 grams and conspiracy to violate the drug laws -- and face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000, Quigley said.
In addition, Martinez was charged with giving a false name to a police officer, Quigley said. He said Martinez’s fingerprints were faxed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which identified him based on fingerprints from previous arrests.
The investigation began 18 months ago when Cohasset police developed information about cocaine coming to town from Boston and began monitoring locations where drug sales occurred, Quigley said. Cohasset police learned that the narcotics unit of the Weymouth police also was investigating the same trafficking network, and the two departments worked together, with the assistance of Boston police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
“This operation effectively dismantled a significant drug trafficking organization that was responsible for the distribution of large quantities of cocaine on the South Shore,” Quigley said. “This investigation and resulting arrests should send a strong message that we will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.