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Authorities seize 18 kilos of fentanyl in Merrimack Valley drug bust; 11 suspects charged

Authorities in Massachusetts seized more than 18 kilos of fentanyl valued at nearly $1 million on the street and two illegally owned guns from locations in Lawrence, Lynn, and Methuen, officials said.Massachusetts State Police

Authorities in Massachusetts last week raided several locations in Lawrence, Lynn and Methuen as part of a major drug trafficking probe, seizing more than 18 kilograms of fentanyl with a street value of nearly $1 million and arresting 11 people, according to State Police and the attorney general’s office.

The suspects range in age from 21 to 55, State Police said in a statement.

Authorities also seized two illegally possessed guns and a portable hydraulic compartment used to hide narcotics, State Police said.

The raids on Thursday came as part of “Operation Philly Special” launched in November 2022 in collaboration with police in Salem, N.H., and federal Homeland Security Investigations, State Police said.


The operation followed a lengthy investigation by the State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction and Enforcement Team, troopers assigned to the attorney general’s office, as well as federal Homeland Security Investigations and Salem, N.H. police. The investigation was overseen by the attorney general’s office.

In November, police in Salem provided information to Massachusetts authorities regarding a drug trafficking organization based in Lawrence that was supplying fentanyl throughout the Merrimack Valley area, officials said.

“Investigators utilized various investigative techniques including traditional and electronic surveillance, data analysis, and court-authorized electronic intercepts of target cell phones,” officials said.

At one location officials raided Thursday in Lawrence, a woman tried to rush a child “with a backpack” out of the residence, State Police said.

“Investigators stopped the woman and child and located a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and ammunition inside the backpack,” officials said.

At another location in Lawrence, authorities found an “active fentanyl processing plant” on the third floor and detected unidentified powders along with a strong odor of ammonia.

A “Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team” wearing full-body protective equipment determined that “multiple samples of exposed substances” tested positive for fentanyl, officials said.


Local officials condemned the apartment.

Investigators also seized approximately $10,000 in suspected drug proceeds and a Mercedes Benz car, officials said.

Travis Andersen can be reached at