Holyoke police told CBS 3 they have taken down a drug ring that stretched as far as Florida and Puerto Rico.
Over the past 10 months, authorities were investigating the ring in which they said oxycodone pills were purchased in Florida AND shipped to sell in Holyoke. The money was then sent back to Florida.
Police Chief James Neiswanger said Thursday's raids at several locations throughout the city were focused on oxycodone. Among the locations raided were a house at 179 Oak St. and a property at 205 Walnut St.
Police said they found hundreds of bags of heroin, as well as a bag of 80 grams of uncut heroin. They said the drug is popular with oxy users.
"A lot of times, when people dwell into the drug world, people cannot continue with the $30 a pill habit and they will convert over to heroin," said Neiswanger.
Among the nine arrested Thursday was Idalia Morales, a cafeteria worker at Kelly School. Police said, as far as they know, she did not distribute drugs on school property.
"Certainly we do not want to have our children involved in it," Neiswanger stated. "We do not want anything like this in our schools, but as far as her employment status, that is purely up to the school department."
As for the teamwork involved in making this raid happen, Neiswanger said it would not get done if it was all on his department.
"The Holyoke Police Department cannot do it alone," said Neiswanger. "We have good partners. Good federal and local partners and good partners with the state. That collaborative effort makes the difference."
Along with the arrests in Holyoke, police said there were two dozen arrests made in Florida and another six in Puerto Rico.
While he could not get too specific, Neiswanger said they all tie together.
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