© 2022
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Accused Heroin Distributor Was Out On Bail With Electronic Monitoring Device When Arrested Again


   Authorities say they’ve broken up a drug trafficking organization that sold heroin and cocaine throughout western Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont. 

   One of three men arrested in the last few weeks after what Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni described as a complicated and lengthy investigation allegedly set up a major heroin distribution operation from a residence in Chicopee while under house arrest and wearing an electronic monitoring device.

   "So, my frustration is extraordinary at this point," said Gulluni.

   22- year- old Jonathan Acevedo, 29- year- old Johnathan Rivera, and 20-year-old John Carlos Rios-Rivera, all of Springfield, were arrested as a result of a months-long investigation by the Massachusetts State Police, Springfield Police, and other local police departments.

         At a press conference Monday, Gulluni described Acevedo as a gang member with a long history of violent crimes.

After an arrest in February 2018, Acevedo was ordered held without bail for 120 days after a so-called dangerousness hearing.   But he was later released on $36,000 bail and ordered to remain in home confinement with an electronic monitoring device.

"Mr. Acevedo is a repeat and violent offender and despite our best efforts,(by) the police officers in the Springfield Police Department, the troopers with the (Massachusetts) State Police, Mr. Acevedo remained out to continue to sell drugs and to further the crisis of addiction and overdose deaths we find ourselves in across this region," said Gulluni.

Gulluni, who said his office had requested bail of $100,000, has endorsed state legislation championed by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno that would give prosecutors the right to appeal a court’s bail decision.

"  The ability to appeal a (bail ) decision like that by the Commonwealth would have come in handy," said Gulluni. "Hypothetically, it is something we would have done in this case given Mr. Acevedo's criminal history."

  The bill proposed by Sarno and sponsored by Democratic State Rep. Angelo Puppolo of Springfield has failed to advance to a vote on the House floor in the last two legislative sessions.

Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said the arrest of Acevedo could have a big impact on the heroin trade in the city.

"We work on the street level dealers all the time, but here is a guy we know is contributing to most of our problems," said Clapprood. "I hope he stays away for a while this time."

Seized by police as part of the investigation were more than 25,000 bags of heroin and an automatic pistol.



Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
Related Content