16 arrested on drug charges.

Byline: Steven H. Foskett Jr.

Sixteen people were arrested in Fitchburg yesterday on federal and state charges as part of a year-long drug investigation dubbed "Operation Northern Kings," according to the U.S. attorney's office in Boston.

Eight people were arrested on federal indictments on gun and drug charges; the arrests coincided with eight additional state arrests for similar charges. According to the U.S. attorney's office, the arrests were a result of cooperation among the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Worcester district attorney's office, Fitchburg police and state police.

According to the federal affidavit, a number of the defendants are members or associates of street gangs operating in Fitchburg, including the Almighty Latin Kings and Queens Nation and the Bloods. The affidavit also states that a number of the defendants have been convicted of violent crimes and narcotics felonies and face enhanced sentences under advisory federal sentencing guidelines, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

The eight people arrested on federal indictments were:

Samuel Bermudez, 24, and Angel Roman, 24, charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and other crimes; Brian Chanthachack, 24, charged with being a felon in possession of a handgun; Hector Aulet, 32, was indicted for selling cocaine base...

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