10 arrested in gun, drug raids; Multi-agency investigation took nearly a year.


Byline: Scott J. Croteau

WORCESTER - A nearly yearlong multi-agency investigation relying on wiretaps and thousands of man-hours has toppled an alleged drug and gun trafficking ring manned by several convicted felons, according to authorities.

"We're getting the bad guys off the streets," Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said at a press conference yesterday. "Today the bad guys lose, the good guys win."

Ten people have already been arrested this week in raids that netted investigators 11 handguns, about $7,000 in cash, 80 grams of cocaine, 10 grams of heroin, 3 pounds of marijuana and some prescription pills. More arrests are expected.

Worcester vice squad Officer Martin F. O'Malley, a member of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Squad, said the investigation was launched following the arrest 10 months ago of Richard A. Keller Jr., 27, of 22 Bangor St. He is facing drug and gun charges in federal court.

Police Capt. Paul B. Saucier said at least six of those arrested have been convicted of firearms charges. The weapons and drugs confiscated during the raids were put on a table in a Police Department conference room, and as the captain was speaking, a cell phone among the items started ringing.

"These are dangerous guys who kept guns where they kept their drugs," said vice squad Sgt. Eric A. Boss, who, along with Officer Darnell McGee, headed the investigation. "Almost every house we went into had a gun."

Search warrants were obtained and served at 9 Whitney St., Apt. 9; 20 Maxwell St., Apt. 2; 926 Southbridge St., Apt. 16; and 78 Pilgrim Ave. in Worcester; and at 61 Lake Ave., Apt. 61R in Webster.

Capt. Saucier identified Alan J. Kapulka, 33, of the Webster address, as the leader of the ring he said operated mainly in Worcester. He was arrested at his apartment Wednesday, where police said they found a loaded .40-caliber handgun and an additional ammunition clip under his mattress.

Police said they also confiscated $3,000 in cash and about 15 Percocet pills. The rounds for the gun were hollow points, officers said.

"In this area, he was considered the head of the people operating in Worcester," Capt. Saucier said. "There was a chain of command in their organization. We pretty much dismantled it at this time."

Authorities on hand at the press conference yesterday stressed that the investigation succeeded because of cooperation between the city's gang, vice and anti-crime units, the local DEA Tactical...

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