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Braintree police display haul from raid

Drugs shipped in from California

Braintree police displayed the 35 pounds of marijuana, pills, and cash seized in Saturday’s raid. Braintree police displayed the 35 pounds of marijuana, pills, and cash seized in Saturday’s raid. (Jessica Bartlett for The Boston Globe)
By Jessica Bartlett
Globe Correspondent / February 10, 2011
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Editor's Note: The case against Samantha Baker of Weymouth was dismissed on May 4.

BRAINTREE — Braintree police yesterday displayed 35 pounds of marijuana, hundreds of steroid and prescription pills, and $7,000 in cash that were seized after a three-month investigation that resulted in the arrest of a Quincy firefighter and a man whom police describe as a major drug trafficker in the South Shore.

The raid Saturday was one of the biggest in the town’s history, and the arrest of Vincent Papagno, 41, was a significant accomplishment, said Deputy Police Chief Russell Jenkins.

Papagno “was making trips every two or three weeks to California, bringing [drugs] back to Braintree, and within days was sold out,’’ Jenkins said at a press conference. “So he was running a very high-volume business.’’

Patrick Ryan, 45, a Quincy firefighter who was at Papagno’s home in Braintree at the time of the raid, was also arrested.

Ryan was seen at the residence several times before the search took place, and a car that distributed drugs was registered in his name, Jenkins said. His name was also used in the shipping of the drugs at least once.

Christopher Walker, spokesman for Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, said Ryan has been placed on unpaid administrative leave, pending an investigation into his involvement with drug trafficking.

In January 2005, Ryan was charged with improper storage of high-capacity firearms, after three loaded guns were found in his pickup truck outside Quincy Fire Department headquarters, said Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan.

The drug investigation came to a head last Saturday, with the raid on Papagno’s residence on East Division Street in Braintree.

Papagno had just returned from California, where he purchased drugs before shipping them to himself and others in the Braintree area for distribution beyond the South Shore, police said.

In the basement of the house, where police believe most of the drug processing took place, officers found scales, a money counter, 61 empty bags that could hold one pound of marijuana, and shipping boxes, in addition to the drugs and money.

Saturday’s raid yielded 10 pounds of marijuana. Another 25 pounds were seized Monday at several post offices.

Two other suspects were arrested the night of the raid. Wesley P. Dikkes of Bellingham, 33, and Samantha Baker of Weymouth, 33, were at the residence and are believed to be involved in the trafficking of the drugs, police said.

Police are still investigating but they have not determined where Papagno obtained the drugs in California.

Ken Walker, an inspector with the US Postal Inspection Service, said the case will be presented to the US District Attorney’s Office for federal prosecution, although officials are not certain where the case will end up.

“Typically, this kind of case would not receive federal prosecution in the Boston District, from our experience,’’ Walker said. “We will continue to explore possible charging on the sender’s end, but in this case, we have the individual here.’’

All individuals had been released on bail by yesterday morning, and police do not believe they are a flight risk, Jenkins said.

Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jessica.may.bartlett@gmail.com

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