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7 arrested as authorities break up major Western Mass. drug ring

Associated Press / December 24, 2009

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SPRINGFIELD - A drug ring authorities described as the largest in Western Massachusetts in recent history has been broken up with the arrest of seven people and a search for an eighth suspect.

Hampden District Attorney William Bennett said yesterday that the drug operation, allegedly led by a cadre of Springfield-based traffickers, distributed more than 100 kilos of cocaine each year throughout the region.

Although cocaine was its major offering, including 11 kilos seized during the investigation, the dealers also sold marijuana and some prescription drugs, Bennett said.

Seven Springfield residents were being held on cocaine trafficking charges and an eighth, 31-year-old Vito Resto, was being sought on a warrant charging him with the same offense.

More arrests were expected.

Bennett called the operation the largest drug ring in recent county history.

He said tracing the drugs’ routes into Western Massachusetts also uncovered links to several other states, where separate investigations are underway.