Local Crime, Police/Fire

Swampscott woman, Lynn man sentenced to state prison for drug trafficking

SALEM — A Swampscott woman and a Lynn man were sentenced to state prison after pleading guilty to cocaine and heroin trafficking in Essex Superior Court on Friday.

Melkis Pena, 54, of Swampscott, pleaded guilty to trafficking more than 100 grams of cocaine and money laundering. She was sentenced to eight to 10 years in state prison for the trafficking charge, concurrent with five to six years for the money laundering charge, according to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

Jonathan Sosa, 31, of Lynn, pleaded guilty to trafficking more than 36 grams of cocaine and heroin trafficking over 36 grams. He was sentenced to five to seven years in state prison, prosecutors said.

Sosa and Pena were arrested in March 2016, along with Gerson Ceballos-Rosario, 39, of Swampscott, in connection with a drug trafficking operation on the North Shore, prosecutors said.

The arrests were the result of a joint operation involving State Police assigned to the attorney general’s office, the State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team (CINRET), U.S. Drug Enforcement and the Swampscott and Lynn Police Departments.

In Dec. 2014, the State Police CINRET began an investigation into an alleged drug trafficking operation on the North Shore that was believed to be responsible for distributing heroin and cocaine to and within Massachusetts, prosecutors said.

During the investigation, authorities seized a large bag containing $300,000 in cash after Pena was seen handing it over to a truck driver in a Saugus parking lot, prosecutors said.

Sosa, Pena, and Ceballos-Rosario were arrested in Lynn after authorities saw what they believed to be a drug transaction occurring in a car. Police seized approximately 10 kilograms in the car linked to Pena, prosecutors said.

After search warrants were executed on the car and apartment linked to Sosa, authorities seized more than 630 grams of cocaine and about 300 grams of heroin. Police also seized $15,000 in cash and supplies and materials known to be associated with drug packaging and distribution, prosecutors said.

The case against Ceballos-Rosario is ongoing.

More Stories In Police/Fire