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3 Arrested in Morning Drug Investigation at Lincoln Plaza

Worcester, MA (April 3, 2013) - On Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at approximately 10:15 AM members of the Worcester Police Vice Squad began surveillance in the parking lot of Lincoln Plaza. Recently, Vice Officers had knowledge that this parking lot had become a meeting area for street level drug transactions.

During the surveillance, undercover officers noticed a gray Ford Escape parked in the lot that was far away from any nearby store. There were numerous parking spots closer to many of the stores but this vehicle, with two occupants, parked in a manner that gave the officers concern.

The vehicle was parked for a short time and drove off. The undercover officers followed the vehicle out of the parking lot. The Ford travelled to the Dunkin Donuts parking lot located at 701 Plantation Street. The Ford parked in the lot but neither person exited the vehicle. Approximately five minutes later the officers observed the female driver of the Ford, later identified as Kayla Muniz, 21-years-old of 49 Bailey Road, Shrewsbury, exit the car and enter the passenger side of a brown Honda Accord. Ms. Muniz was in the Honda for a short time and then quickly got out and walked back to her vehicle.

Officers observing these actions believed that a street level drug deal had just taken place. At this time the undercover officers approached the Ford Escape and had conversation with Ms. Muniz and her passenger, Connor O’Brien, 22-years-old of 130 Old Walpole Road, Keene, NH.

Ms. Muniz and Mr. O’Brien were removed from the vehicle. Officers recovered one knotted bag of heroin from the front sweatshirt of Ms. Muniz. Inside the vehicle was Ms. Muniz’s purse. Inside the purse, police located two more knotted baggies containing heroin along with several hypodermic needles. Mr. O’Brien was also in possession of a hypodermic needle. The two were placed under arrest and charged with Possession of Class A Substance and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.

Other undercover officers followed the Honda Accord out of the Dunkin Donuts parking lot. The Honda was traveling west on Lincoln Street when the following officers received confirmation that the couple had heroin in their possession. The Honda was stopped on Lincoln Street by Lincoln Plaza. The operator of the Honda was identified as Julio Cartagena, 25-years-old of 57 Coral Street, Worcester.

Mr. Cartagena was placed under arrest. A search of Mr. Cartagena produced 24 knotted bags of heroin, $1,083 in cash and a cell phone. The cell phone recovered from Ms. Muniz showed that the last call she made was to Mr. Cartagena’s cell phone.

The drugs and cash were secured as evidence. Mr. Cartagena was charged with Possession of Class A with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Class A Substance and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.

All three suspects were transported to police headquarters for processing.

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