Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Yohanna SANTANA (Distribute Class A, Conspiracy, Drug Violation near School)

The following is a brief summary pertaining to Incident #16072693:


Recently, periodic surveillance was set up around the area of XX Trull Street. Surveillance was established due to two reasons. On March 27, 2016, an overdose incident occurred where a female, later identified as XXXXX, called 911 stating her boyfriend, YYYYY, was found in his home on Trull Street not breathing. YYYYY received several doses of Narcan where he was revived and admitted to using heroin. On April 11, 2016, XXXXX called 911 stating she believed he had passed away. I spoke with XXXXX several times via cellular phone conversations and found that YYYYY had passed away due to an overdose of Heroin. During these phone calls I asked XXXXX if she had knowledge of who sold YYYYY heroin. XXXXX admitted she was a user of opiates and stated she believed YYYYY to get his Heroin from a Hispanic female. I explained to XXXXX that I had received information on YYYYY meeting with a Hispanic female who operated a dark colored Lexus SUV. XXXXX stated that she was not sure, but that she believes the heroin distributor to drive the same vehicle. I asked XXXXX if she knew the Hispanic female who drove the dark Lexus SUV to which she stated she did in fact know her but wished not to talk further. 


Subsequent to YYYYY’s overdose, numerous citizenry complaints came forward of XXXXX being involved in drug transactions. According to multiple neighbors, XXXXX would leave her home and meet with a Hispanic female who drove a black Lexus SUV. During my numerous conversations with neighbors, one person was able to provide me with a Massachusetts plate. This neighbor stated that they had watched XXXXX meet with the Hispanic female and drive around the block to where XXXXX would get out of the vehicle and walk back to her home. I know this modus operandi to be that of a “meaningless ride.” In my training and experience, a “meaningless ride” is often used by drug distributors to help protect themselves against law enforcement encounters and also hide the street level drug transaction to where only a person in the vehicle would be able to witness the transaction. I would like to note that during periodic days of surveillance I saw XXXXX meet with the Lexus SUV. XXXXX would always leave her home and walk towards either end of Trull Street where she would get into the passenger side. The black Lexus would then drive around the block in which XXXXX would exit and walk towards her home. During these encounters, XXXXX would gain access into her home before she could be stopped for a threshold inquiry. After viewing XXXXX on several occasions, I was able to obtain validity to the citizen complaints. Within the past two weeks of this incident, I received more complaints that XXXXX was now meeting the Lexus SUV at least once a day. 


On Wednesday, November 16, 2016, I was working in the Somerville Police Drug Control Unit as Delta-18. At approximately 5:00 P.M. surveillance was set up around the area of XX Trull Street by Detectives Brioso, Costa, and me. At approximately 5:20 P.M., I observed XXXXX exit her home and begin walking down Trull Street towards Vernon Street. I followed XXXXX on foot so as to not alert her of my presence. As I did this, Detectives Brioso and Costa maintained a close visual in their vehicles in case XXXXX was going to meet with the black Lexus. As XXXXX reached the end of Trull Street, she turned left and walked to the corner of Glenwood Road. While standing at the corner of Glenwood Road, XXXXX began pacing back and forth on her phone. Within a few seconds, a black SUV drove to the corner and XXXXX entered the vehicle on the front passenger side. The vehicle then began to drive towards Lowell Street. As the vehicle passed me, I found that it was the same vehicle seen during multiple encounters with XXXXX. I was also able to see the operator who appeared to be a female. 


As the vehicle reached the end of Vernon Street, it took a right turn onto Lowell Street where Detectives Costa and Brioso were notified of the movement. As Detectives Brioso and Costa were now observing the vehicle, I went back onto Trull Street towards the top near Medford Street. The black Lexus made a right turn onto Medford Street and parked on the right hand side of Medford Street just over the Trull Street boundary. The vehicle was now parked XXXXX exited the Lexus and began walking down Trull Street towards her home as the Lexus drove east on Medford Street towards Central Street. At this time, in my training and experience, I believed XXXXX and the female operator of the black Lexus to be involved in a street level drug transaction. I asked Detectives Brioso and Costa to follow the vehicle and stop it for a threshold inquiry as I would be stopping xxxxxx to conduct a threshold inquiry as well. 


As XXXXX was walking towards her home, I approached her with my badge clearly displayed on my outermost garment in front of YY Trull Street. XXXXX appeared extremely nervous as she began to shake and walk backwards. I could see XXXXX was holding her cell phone in her right hand along with a blue jacket on her left. As I looked behind XXXXX she appeared to move her hands under the blue jacket and dropped the blue jacket on the ground. As XXXXX was being stopped, marked unit West-5, Officer Hartsgrove, responded to my location. I asked XXXXX where she had been coming from to which she answered, “Nowhere.” XXXXX then stated she had been walking around and met her friend. I asked XXXXX where her friend was to which she stated she did not know. As I was speaking to XXXXX, Detectives Brioso and Costa were able to get the black Lexus SUV stopped with the assistance of marked unit East-4, Officer McCarey at the corner of Broadway and Dartmouth Street. I asked XXXXX if she remembered speaking with me months prior to which she stated she did in fact remember. XXXXXX stated she was currently experiencing an addiction to opiates once again and called the female operator of the Lexus SUV, whom she called “Yohanna,” to purchase Heroin. XXXXX stated that she did not receive any Heroin from Yohanna because she did not have money. I then asked XXXXX why Yohanna would come to see her if she did not purchase any Heroin. Xxxxxxx went on to say that she asked Yohanna to “cuff” her the Heroin, or to give it to her for now, and that she would pay her back at a later date. I then explained to XXXXX that the black Lexus was stopped nearby and that Yohanna would not have made the trip around the block if she did not give her any Heroin.


As I did this, Detective Costa stated that the female operator, now found to be Ms. Yohanna Santana, made conflicting statements to him about where we had actually observed her. Detective Costa then stated that Ms. Santana had multiple arraignments on her board of probation check for drug distribution offenses. Once hearing this, I asked XXXXX to tell me the truth of what had occurred. XXXXX quickly apologized and stated that as I stopped her, she attempted to throw the bag of Heroin away but got caught in her blue jacket and dropped the bag on the ground behind her. XXXXX then dropped the blue jacket on top. As XXXXX stated this, I walked her a step over and saw a clear glassine baggie on the ground directly behind XXXXX. Upon further inspection of this clear glassine baggie, I found it to contain a tan powder substance I believe, in my training and experience, to be Heroin. As I found this baggie, I informed Detectives Brioso and Costa to place Ms. Santana under arrest.


XXXXX apologized several times and began explaining her addiction to Heroin had spiraled out of control and she was seeking help. I went into a full length conversation with XXXXX about seeking help to fight her addiction. XXXXX appeared to be on a road to recovery until her boyfriend, YYYYY passed away. XXXXX agreed to write a voluntary statement form of the incident that took place this night with Ms. Santana. XXXXX was able to give the phone number she used to call Ms. Santana as well as the events that took place. This form will be available upon request. 


Ms. Santana was transported to Somerville Police Headquarters via marked unit 200, Officer Fusco, where she was booked in the usual manner by Lieutenant A. Rymill. I advised XXXXX that I would be filing a criminal complaint against her for this incident. XXXXX stated she understood. Ms. Santana’s black Lexus was towed to the Somerville Police Garage via Pat’s Towing where it was followed in by Detective Brioso. As Ms. Santana’s purse was inside the vehicle, we brought it to the booking area and confiscated one gold Samsung cellular phone and three hundred and fifty dollars in US currency. I would note that the three hundred and fifty dollars was found to be in two stacks of cash. One stack of one hundred and seventy dollars, and the other to be one hundred and eighty dollars. 


At approximately 8:00 P.M., Officer Michael Polston and K-9 Klaus from the Malden Police Department arrived to the Somerville Police Garage. K-9 Klaus is a drug certified K-9 officer. During a preliminary K-9 scent of the black Lexus SUV, K-9 Klaus alerted to an area of the vehicle. K-9 Klaus alerted to the driver’s side door compartment and drivers side compartment near the steering wheel. Upon further inspection of these areas of the vehicle, Officer Polston was able to easily open these areas without tools or use of hard force. Officer Polston also pulled out the area of the speedometer directly under the dashboard. In my training and experience, these areas will often be used by drug distributors to hide narcotics in vehicle’s so as to not be seen even during a close inspection of the vehicle. Also inside the vehicle was mail belonging to Ms. Santana such as a rent check, Jiffy Lube receipt, and Public Housing bill. Ms. Santana’s cellular phone, monies, and vehicle will be held for forfeiture proceedings. I would like to note that the area where Ms. Santana dropped off XXXXX after completing their street level drug transaction is within one hundred feet of the Sergeant Henry Hanson Park. This public park is maintained by the City of Somerville. 



Respectfully submitted,





Detective Fernando Cicerone #279




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