National News

Over 400 arrests made as part of drug sting operation

Posted July 3, 2018 3:26 p.m. EDT

— The Holyoke Police Department announced Monday the results of Operation Full Throttle, a multi-department sting that is now in it's fourth year.

Investigators said that this year's operation was even more successful than in the past.

"Operation Full Throttle IV was a complete team effort to bring to bear all our resources, and our other law enforcement partners, on those that would prey on others," said Holyoke Police Chief James Neiswanger.

Today, Neiswanger announced a very productive month of June for officers involved in this year's Operation Full Throttle, which is a large-scale crackdown that has resulted in hundreds of arrests.

In all, there were 446 arrests during Operation Full Throttle IV and part of that end result is these 446 mugshots adorning the Holyoke Police Department's wall.

Holyoke Police Lt. Albert announced Monday afternoon that 28-year-old Jose Laboy was also arrested as a result of Operation Full Throttle IV.

Laboy is facing up to 34 counts of distribution of heroin or cocaine. Lt. Albert said Laboy was previously arrested in March of this year for distribution of heroin, and is currently on probation for nine counts of distribution of narcotics in 2015.

"Given the numerous times he's been charged with Distribution of Heroin and Cocaine over the past three years we are hoping that the Courts will see fit to place significant bail on this suspect as he is a clear and present danger to the citizens of Holyoke," Lt. Albert wrote.

The chief said that these mugshots are putting a face on the dangerous, some committing acts that could have led to the death of others.

"The ones that are distributing this poison, we'd like to see locked up and stay locked up. They're killing people directly and indirectly. The same with the gun offenders," Neiswanger explained.

Western Mass News, looking through the items seized, found items including:

Six handguns

Two rifles

450 grams of cocaine (including 129 bags of powdered cocaine, 502 bags of crack cocaine, and nearly half a kilogram (391 grams) of powered cocaine)

50 grams of heroin

Three motor vehicles

$11,000 in cash

Several walkie-talkie radios, digital scales, and packaging materials

If we break down those 446 arrests by the numbers, they look like this:

Nine prostitution arrests

One armed robbery suspect

109 state arrest warrants

Three federal arrest warrants

Two arrests for trafficking a Class B substance (cocaine) - 200+ grams

Two arrests for trafficking a Class A substance (heroin) - 18 to 36 grams

Two arrests for trafficking a Class B substance (cocaine) - 18 to 36 grams

34 arrests for distribution of a Class A substance (heroin)

11 arrests for distribution of a Class B substance (cocaine)

16 arrests for possession of a Class A substance (heroin) with intent to distribute

Nine arrests for possession of a Class B substance (cocaine) with intent to distribute

117 arrests for possession of a Class A substance (heroin)

89 arrests for possession of a Class B substance (cocaine)

Some like Haniel Valera-Malpica are a familiar face to police. Before this operation began, he was arrested on drug charges and "just this past Friday, we arrested him again in the same general area on 26 counts of distribution of heroin and cocaine," Neiswanger said.

The chief added that plenty have already posted bail and are back in the public.

"It can be frustrating to the men and women of the Holyoke Police Department and officers everywhere," Neiswanger explained.

The bottom line, the chief said, is that this operation works and compared to years past, this wall of mugshots has grown.

Holyoke Police conducted the operation with assistance from:

Hampden County Narcotics Task Force

FBI Western Mass. Gang Task Force



Hampden County Sheriff's Department

Mass. State Police Gang Unit

Mass. State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team

Easthampton Police K-9 Unit

Mass. State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Team