New Bedford Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced to Prison

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

Thomas M. Quinn III
District Attorney

Press Release
February 22, 2023​

A 31-year-old New Bedford man arrested in connection with a multi-year narcotics trafficking investigation, dubbed “Operation Lunch Break,” who while out on bail was apprehended for distributing Fentanyl, was sentenced to serve three to four years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Jesus Santiago pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl, Possession with Intent to Distribute a class D drug and Conspiracy.

The defendant was one of about a dozen individuals arrested at the culmination of the long-term covert investigation in June 2021. He was charged in the case with Conspiracy.

Then, in July 2022, he became the target of a New Bedford Police  investigation into a narcotics distribution service being operated out of the defendant’s Malden Street residence. During an execution of a search warrant at the defendant’s residence, police located 27.4 grams of Fentanyl, 62 grams of marijuana packaged for sale, digital scales and other paraphernalia associated with the illicit drug trade.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Danielle Pixley and the three to four year state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Raffi Yessayan.

“This defendant was arrested and was put on bail as part of our ‘Operation Lunch Break’ wiretap investigation. While out pretrial release, he continued to trafficking in narcotics and was re-arrested. He has a history of drug dealing convictions and needs to be kept off the street to protect the public,” District Attorney Quinn said.

“Operation Lunch Break” was a joint investigation led by Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office, the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to District Attorney Quinn’s office, and the Office of former Attorney General Maura Healey, which included assistance from members of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, Dartmouth and Fall River Police Departments, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Rhode Island HIDTA Task Force  These agencies worked together to dismantle the Geraldo Rivera Drug Trafficking Organization, the members of which distributed large amounts of fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana and opioid pills throughout the greater New Bedford area.


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications