Eight arrests were made over a five-day period in what authorities said may be the largest single seizure of heroin in state history.
After a two-year investigation, federal state and local officials said they have cracked a large-scale heroin and cocaine trafficking organization that started in Lawrence, Massachusetts, funneled drugs through Salem and fed directly to the Keene area.
"It has been the mission of federal state and local law enforcement partners to stop this problem at its source by shutting down the pipeline through which heroin enters the state of New Hampshire," said U.S. Attorney John Kacavas. "And today, I am pleased to announce that one of these pipelines has been shut down."
Police said eight people were charged in connection with the case, including Ross Gould, 28, of Richmond, who authorities identified as the leader of the operation. Authorities said drugs and firearms were seized from his home.
Officials said they confiscated 3.5 kilos of heroin, the largest seizure of its kind in state history.
"The Gould drug trafficking organization has been operating in the Keene area for some five years and distributing nearly a kilo of heroin every 10 days on the street," Kacavas said.
Authorities said the amount of heroin and cocaine taken off the streets through the investigation is valued well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Stephanie Bergeron, of Serenity Place, in Manchester, said more than 80 percent of their clients are addicted to heroin.
"It really is a significant victory for our state," Bergeron said. "When you look at the big picture for a number of reasons, for public safety, crime, it's a huge victory, but it certainly does not eliminate the drug problem."
They said the problem of drug addiction in the state is only getting worse.
US attorney: Heroin, cocaine ring in Keene area broken up
8 arrests made after undercover drug buys, officials say
UPDATED 10:58 PM EDT Mar 18, 2015
Multi-Agency Force Makes Big Drug Busts Last Week
Drug task forces make busts in Keene after buys in Salem; take weapons, 3.5 kilos of heroin, cocaine off New Hampshire streets.
By TONY SCHINELLA (Patch Staff)