EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 1, 2011

Police seize heroin, coke in drug ring bust

Alleged ringleader held on $1M bail; two others charged

By Jill Harmacinski

LAWRENCE — A Providence, R.I., man who was allegedly running a Lawrence-based drug operation and tied to a "stash house" on Bunkerhill Street was held on $1 million cash bail after his arraignment on a lengthy list of drug charges, including distribution of heroin and cocaine, yesterday.

State police drug detectives confiscated 100 grams of heroin and 65 grams of cocaine, which carry a street value of roughly $10,000, from the stash house at 77 Bunkerhill St.

The drugs were found on a coffee table.

"A myriad of drugs were visible and packaged for distribution," said Assistant District Attorney Kelleen Forlizzi, in court yesterday.

Samuel Gambaro, 44, who uses the street name "Willy" and other aliases, was arrested by state police drug detectives after an investigation — which included a search warrant at 77 Bunkerhill St. and seven hand-to-hand drug sales to an undercover trooper — was launched in October.

Gambaro's illegal drug operation stretched from Lawrence to New Hampshire and Maine, Forlizzi said.

Troopers also linked two others to Gambaro's alleged operation. Santo Mota-Vizaino, 40, of 242 Belmont St., #1, Lawrence, and Francisco Carmona-Sanchez, 21, of 189 Columbia Road, #3, Boston, were both held on $50,000 cash bail. Both were charged with trafficking cocaine and heroin. Carmona-Sanchez was also charged with conspiracy to violate controlled drug laws.

Excerpting state police reports, Forlizzi said Mota-Vinzaino was the lookout at the stash house. Carmona-Sanchez, known as "Seal," drove the gold van Gambaro used for his drug sales, she said.

Defense attorney Stephen Wright disputed Gambaro's use of multiple aliases, saying the only other name he admits using is Francisco Ortiz.

He noted a large amount of cash was not seized when state police executed a search warrant at 77 Bunkerhill St., adding their are multiple units in the building.

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