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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cops: Drug trafficking ring busted

Cops: Drug trafficking ring busted
One suspect out on bail after arrest in drug raid last month
Damien Fisher
News Staff Writer

GARDNER Police arrested three men Wednesday night who were allegedly bringing thousands of dollars of drugs into the city, including one man already out on bail for being an alleged drug dealer.

Carlos Montanez, 28, of 91 Ward St., Worcester, was in the car stopped on Route 2 in Gardner on Wednesday night by state and local law enforcement as part of a joint investigation into drug trafficking in Worcester County, according to police. Mr. Montanez was arrested last month in Gardner along with four other people when the Gardner Police Drug Unit executed a search warrant on people suspected of bringing crack cocaine into the city. He was later released on bail.

Michael M. Stanley, 20, of 52 Leamy St., Apt. 1, and Joshua Navarro, 19, of 1816 E. Lippincott St., Philadelphia, Pa., were also in the car Wednesday night. All three men are charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws, police said. Mr. Stanley is also charged with speeding.

Police say the men were targets of an investigation run by the Gardner Police Drug Unit and the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit, which is trying to track down the flow of crack cocaine and heroin coming in to Gardner. The men had been under surveillance on Wednesday and were followed to different locations throughout Worcester County, where it is believed they restocked their drug supply for sale in Gardner, according to authorities.

Police set up on Route 2 Wednesday night in order to intercept their car coming back into Gardner, and they stopped Mr. Stanley for allegedly speeding on the highway.

When questioned outside of the vehicle, one officer spotted a clear plastic bag sticking out of the back of Mr. Navarro’s pants, according to police. When asked about the bag, Mr. Navarro cooperated.

“Listen, you caught me,” Mr. Navarro reportedly said. “I’m not going to try to tuck them.”

He removed a package containing crack cocaine and heroin and told an officer how much of each, according to police. Mr. Navarro reportedly had close to 11 grams of heroin and about 24 grams of crack cocaine. That comes to about $1,200 in heroin and $2,500 in crack, the police report states.

All three men were arraigned Thursday in Gardner District Court. Mr. Stanley is being held on $2,500 cash bail, while Mr. Navarro is being held on $25,000 cash bail. Mr. Montanez had bail set at $15,000, and he had the bail for last month’s arrest revoked.

Mr. Montanez and Mr. Navarro are due back in court on Tuesday for a bail review hearing. Mr. Stanley is due back on Sept. 25 for a pretrial hearing.

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