22 suspected members of New Hampshire drug trafficking ring charged

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Twenty-two people are facing charges in connection with what authorities are calling a sophisticated drug trafficking organization that transported drugs from Boston to Manchester, New Hampshire, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Twelve of those suspects were arrested in the past two days while police also seized about 1.6 kilograms (3.5 pounds) of suspected cocaine, 250 grams (8.8 ounces) of suspected fentanyl, 100 bags of suspected drugs packaged for sale, $26,000 in cash, and four firearms, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire, Jane Young.

The suspects, from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, are scheduled to appear in federal court later this week to face charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substance.

The suspects used what authorities described as a “sophisticated” business model, including the use of dispatch telephone numbers that customers could call to order narcotics, and drug runners with vehicles who would meet customers at pre-arranged locations, authorities said.

“This announcement marks a major blow to drug trafficking and sends a strong message that drug trafficking will not be tolerated in our city and in our region,” Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig said in a statement.

The city will also deploy its Rapid Overdose Assessment Response Team to reduce the harm the reduced supply of drugs could create to connect those in need to resources and treatment, she said.

Multiple federal and local enforcement agencies from New Hampshire and Massachusetts were involved in the investigation.

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