A Springfield man and two Holyoke men — one with a prior narcotic trafficking conviction — were arrested on charges in connection with trafficking cocaine and heroin, and being in possession of a firearm without a license to carry.
On Sept. 22, a spokesperson for the Hampden County District Attorney’s office said the three suspects were arrested in the area of South Summer Street in Holyoke on trafficking and gun possession charges.
Duane Howlette, 33, of Springfield, Luis Acevedo, 35, of Holyoke and Christopher Perez, 26, also from Holyoke were arrested and charged with the following: trafficking in heroin (18-36 grams), trafficking in cocaine (100-200 grams), possession of a firearm in commission of a felony with no license to carry (no FID card), possession of a large capacity firearm in commission of a felony no license to carry (no FID card), carrying a firearm no license to carry (no FID card), possession of ammunition no license to carry (no FID card), according to the Hampden DA’s office.
Howlette faces an additional charge: possession of class B drug (cocaine with intent to distribute).
Officials within the Hampden District Attorney’s SAFE Taskforce said an investigation led authorities to believe that Acevedo, Howlette and Perez were conducting a substantial drug trafficking operation in the South Summer Street area of Holyoke. During the course of the investigation, investigators reportedly observed the three men conduct numerous transactions in and around the North Summer Street area.
On Sept. 22, the SAFE Taskforce arrested Acevedo, Howlette and Perez as they were engaged in narcotics transactions, according to officials. Authorities seized 1,100 supposed bags of heroin, 100 grams of cocaine and one ghost gun — a weapon manufactured without identifying information meant to skirt licensing laws — during the arrest.
Acevedo is also a known narcotics trafficker, the district attorney’s office added. The Holyoke man recently pleaded guilty in a separate narcotics trafficking case in June of 2022.
Acevedo was convicted and sentenced to six to seven years in state prison, but the court allowed a delay on that prison sentence until Dec. 1, 2022, to allow the defendant to appeal a ruling in the case, according to the district attorney’s office.
As of Thursday, Sept. 29, no appeal has been filed with the Trial Court or any higher court of appeal, according to the Hampden district attorney’s office.
“We will continue to fight the battle against opiates and addiction, and those who wish to profit from them,” Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni said in a statement. “But, if we as a community are going to win this fight, the court system has to play its important role in treating serious and repeat offenders as the law directs and our society should demand. I thank the task force detectives in my office for their work and their commitment to safe streets, free of illegal drugs and guns.”
All three defendants were arraigned in Holyoke District Court on Friday, Sept. 23.
Luis Acevedo’s bail was set at $25,000, while the prosecution requested $100,000. A motion by the Commonwealth to revoke bail on a previous case was allowed.
Dwayne Howlette’s bail was set at $5,000, the Commonwealth requested $50,000. A motion by the Commonwealth to revoke bail on a previous case was allowed.
Christopher Perez’s bail was set at $5,000, the Commonwealth requested $5,000.
The three are set to appear in court on Oct. 20.
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