Effective Drug Surveillance Leads to Arrests of Four for Trafficking

Yesterday evening around 8PM, officers from the District E-13 (Jamaica Plain) arrested suspects, Boris A. Peguero-Arrendell, 24 of Jamaica Plain, Manuel E. Zapata-Pinales, 20 of Manchester, NH, Ismael Travieso, Jr., 22 of Roxbury and Manuel Zapata, 48 of Manchester, NH and charged them with Trafficking Class A Drugs (100-199 grams) and Trafficking Class A Drugs (100-199 grams) within 1,000’ of a School Zone. In addition, suspect Travieso was charged with having Altered License or Registration.

Officers initially started the investigation that lead to the eventual arrests by conducting surveillance in the area of 1890 Columbus Avenue. While there, officers observed a pick-up truck bearing New Hampshire registration with two occupants with pull into the lot of the Walgreen’s and park there while appearing to make phone calls. Officers’ attention was drawn to this car based on past arrests in this lot and knowledge that it is often used as a meeting location for drug transactions.  Officers continued to monitor this location and a short while later observed an Audi with two occupants pull into the lot and stop close to the pick-up truck. At this time, the operator of the truck got out of the truck, had a brief conversation with the occupants of the Audi after which the truck followed the Audi out of the lot driving on Washington Street toward Forest Hills Station.

Officers continued their surveillance of the cars as they traveled through a number of streets finally coming to a stop in front of 1 Cliffmount Street where the Audi pulled up to the right and the truck parked in front of it. At this point, the driver of the pick-up truck later identified as Manuel Zapata got out of the truck and jogged to the rear door of the Audi and get in. The passenger of the pick-up truck later identified as Manuel E. Zapata-Pinales then got out of the truck and got in the Audi also. After a few minutes suspect Zapata then got out of the back seat of the Audi and go to the side of the pick-up truck.

Having observed the above interactions between the parties of the two cars and based on training and experience, officers formed the opinion that a drug transaction had just taken place. At this time, officers decided to approach the cars and asked a marked unit that was nearby to approach along with the unmarked units. The truck immediately accelerated forward with no headlights and as they continued down the street, officers observed an item thrown from the driver side window.  Both cars were stopped not too far from the Cliffmount and placed under arrest.

Offices returned to the location where they had observed the item thrown from the truck and there recovered a light colored round ball of heroin wrapped in plastic. As a result of this discovery, all four suspects were arrested and charged with the above offenses after the drugs were weighed and determined to be in excess of 100 grams.