Police Arrest Five in Drug Connection

It seems D’Raffa Restaurant was the Bunker Hill connection, as police raided the storefront eatery and dismantled what they allege was a major fentanyl (opiate) operation.

The major raid happened just steps from where a woman was shot inside Kipo’s Pizzeria on March 15. The injuries there were not life threatening, but the matter is still under investigation. Police did not indicate whether or not the two incidents were related, or if the shooting investigation provided information towards the raid.

As a result of the raid, three people were held on high bail, and two more were to be arraigned in Charlestown District Court Wednesday, in connection with a major seizure of the opiate fentanyl and other drugs at a Charlestown restaurant on Tuesday.

Assistant District Attorney Caroline Merck recommended bail of $200,000 for the following defendants, all from Charlestown and all charged with trafficking in fentanyl, trafficking in cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute heroin:

  • Rosselys Esthefanie Pimental-Melo, 23, of Charlestown, held on $100,000 and represented by attorney John Carey;
  • Matea Sanchez, 60, of Charlestown, held on $50,000 and represented by attorney Rob Gracioso; and
  • Juan Guerrero-Tejada, 28, of Charlestown, held on $80,000 and represented by attorney William Keefe.

In addition to setting bail, Charlestown Municipal Court Judge Lawrence McCormick granted Merck’s request for GPS monitoring and stay-away orders.

Two additional defendants, Raphael Pimental, 46, and Ada Mejia-Mejia, 40, both of Charlestown, were to be arraigned in Charlestown on Wednesday.

Merck told the court that a task force of Boston Police, State Police, and agents of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Boston Strike Force concluded a lengthy investigation yesterday with a search warrant at the D’Raffa Restaurant on Bunker Hill Street yesterday afternoon. Upon entry, they observed Pimental in the basement and Guerrero-Tejeda, Mejia-Mejia, Pimental-Melo, and Sanchez behind the counter.

Investigators recovered approximately 520 grams of a white powder that field-tested positive for fentanyl behind a freezer in the restaurant’s basement. In a shelving unit underneath the cash register behind the counter, they recovered four plastic bags: one containing seven smaller bags of what appeared to be powder cocaine; one containing 10 smaller bags of what appeared to be heroin; and two containing a total of 22 smaller bags of what appeared to be crack cocaine.

On the same block, on March 15, a woman at Kipo’s Pizzeria was shot

“When overdoses claim three times more lives than gun violence and car crashes combined, we can’t pretend that drug trafficking is a victimless crime,” DA Dan Conley said. “It goes hand in hand with violence, death, and despair. This investigation and seizure saved lives.”

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