Leader of Heroin Distribution Ring Sentenced to State Prison
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced that the leader of a large-scale heroin distribution ring in the greater Taunton area was sentenced to serve four to five years in state prison.
Alexander Torres Sr., 42, of Central Falls, RI, pleaded guilty yesterday in Fall River Superior Court to a single charge of conspiracy to violate the controlled substance laws.
Assistant District Attorney Stephen Butts, who heads up District Attorney Quinn’s Illegal Drug Prosecution Unit, prosecuted the case and argued for an eight to ten year state prison sentence.
Mr. Torres was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson.
In the summer of 2011, Massachusetts State Police deceives assigned to the district attorney’s office initiated an investigation into a suspected heroin distribution ring operating in and around Taunton. As the investigation progressed, additional assistance was obtained from other agencies including, the Rhode Island State Police, Massachusetts State Police, RI HIDTA Group, the Federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives Agency and the Massachusetts National Guard. It was determined through the course of the investigation that the distribution ring was being led and organized by Mr. Torres.
After months of gathering evidence, investigators sought and obtained authorization from the Superior Court to conduct a lawful wiretap of the cell phones belonging to Alexander Torres and several of his trusted co-conspirators. An examination of the conversations by and between those co-conspirators revealed the inner workings of this illegal organization; their organizational structure, the manner and means taken to conceal their unlawful activities, their sources for obtaining heroin, their use of “stash houses”, and the identification of their customers. At the close of the investigation on May 31, 2012, Mr. Torres and others were arrested, a large amount of heroin was seized and six firearms were recovered from individuals associated with the Torres Heroin Distribution Organization.
The defendant has also been charged with drug distribution and firearm related offenses in Rhode Island as a result of this investigation. Those charges are still pending.
As investigations of this nature continue to this day, no further information can be released at this time.
“This was a major supplier of heroin in the Taunton area, and I am very pleased he is now off the streets,” District Attorney Quinn said. “My office will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners to target the worst offenders in Bristol County, build strong cases against them and keep them off the streets of our neighborhoods.”
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