Cohasset police say they have broken up a cocaine ring on the South Shore that they believe delivered drugs directly to clients’ homes six days a week.
Members of the ring also allegedly sold drugs in public places, such as the parking lot of the Stop & Shop in Cohasset, where two men were arrested Thursday and 65 bags of cocaine stuffed inside a potato chip can were seized, police said.
Police later searched a Roslindale apartment, which they believed was the suspects’ base of operations, and found another half-kilo of the drug, said 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, adding that at least one more arrest is expected.
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 drug laws, and, if convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison and a fine, Quigley said.
Martinez was also charged with giving a false name to a police officer. Quigley said Martinez’s fingerprints were faxed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which identified him from previous arrests.
“From what we can gather, this was their full-time employment, delivering cocaine,” said Cohasset police Detective Lieutenant Gregory Lennon. “People would call them, and they would deliver the cocaine to their houses — pull in the driveway, ring the bell, and walk back out. They were very discreet. This was going on in some areas with a lot of pedestrian traffic, and no one suspected.”
Lennon said the deliveries took place Mondays through Saturdays. “They took Sundays off,” he said.
He said “dozens and dozens” of people in Cohasset bought the drugs. “I would say all 65 bags were destined for Cohasset,” he said.
Each of the confiscated bags sold for about $40, and the half-kilo seized in Roslindale was worth between $15,000 and $20,000, he said.
The investigation began 18 months ago when Cohasset police got a tip about cocaine coming to town from Boston and began monitoring suspected drug sale locations, Quigley said. Cohasset police learned that the Weymouth police narcotics unit was also investigating the same trafficking network and the two departments worked together, with the assistance of Boston police and the Drug Enforcement Administration, he said.
“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.
Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.