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Joint Investigation Leads to Arrest of Worcester-Area Gun and Drug Trafficker

For Immediate Release: 2/18/2022 1:33 pm

A joint investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit, Worcester Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives culminated yesterday with the arrest of a suspect believed to a high-impact gun and firearms trafficker.

LUIS ORTIZ, a.k.a. “Panda,” 24, was taken into custody by members of the Massachusetts State Police Special Tactical Operations Team at a residence at 250 Pleasant St., Worcester. ORTIZ was charged with numerous gun and narcotics offenses, including the illegal sale of firearms, ammunition, and fentanyl. ORTIZ is from Worcester and Putnam, Conn.

The investigation into ORTIZ’s criminal activity began last month when Troopers from the MSP Gang Unit developed information that he was illegally in possession of multiple firearms. During the next few weeks, investigators arranged several undercover purchases of drugs and guns from ORTIZ. These included purchases of an AR-15 rifle, two “ghost gun” untraceable pistols, two revolvers, a 50-round high capacity drum magazine, and a significant amount of suspected fentanyl.

Yesterday, another undercover purchase was set up with ORTIZ, this one for more than 100 grams of fentanyl. After the undercover purchase was completed, MSP STOP Team Troopers converged on and arrested ORTZ without incident. He was booked at the Worcester Police Department and held pending his arraignment in Worcester District Court today.

The investigation and arrest is expected to have significant impact on public safety, as ORTIZ is suspected to be actively involved in selling firearms and narcotics.

The case is being prosecuted by the office of Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.

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