Police credit anonymous tips via Tip411 app in developing leads

SOUTHBRIDGE — After anonymous tipsters complained of drug deals in their neighborhood, local police arrested a known dealer hiding in the back of a SUV on New Year’s Day.

Giovanni L. Torres, 25, of 112 Hamilton Street, was taken into custody at approximately 2:40 p.m. on January 1, as part of a surveillance operation conducted by local detectives, according to a Southbridge Police Department press release issued on Saturday morning.

Police said they had “received numerous complaints via the Tip411 line regarding narcotics distribution” in the Hamilton Street area. As detectives conducting surveillance, police report they observed Torres exit his residence in order to approach and enter the passenger side of a black SUV. According to the press release, Torres “is known to our department to distribute narcotics and had multiple arrest warrants for prior charges.” Those charges include distribution of a Class B substance, larceny over $1,200, and receiving stolen property.

After Torres had entered the black SUV, officers conducted a motor vehicle stop on Hamilton Street. During that stop, officers said they located Torres “lying down in the back seat of the SUV.”

Taken into custody due to the multiple arrest warrants, police report they found Torres was in possession of six small packages of suspected crack cocaine. As a result, he was also charged with possession of a Class B substance (crack cocaine).

Torres was held at the Southbridge Police Department pending his release on $2,040 bail. He was arraigned in Dudley District Court on January 2, and the judge set his bail at $1,100.

One of eight arrested in 2018 operation

Torres, a 2012 graduate of Southbridge High School, was among eight individuals arrested in Southbridge on November 2, 2018. Local police and members of the Southern Worcester County Counter Crime and Drug Task Force executed several search warrants shortly after 5 a.m. on that date, resulting in more than 260 packets of suspected heroin packaged for distribution being recovered as well as more than 20 grams of suspected crack cocaine packaged for distribution. Police reported at that time they also uncovered marijuana packaged for distribution, numerous digital scales, live ammunition, and more than $6,000 in cash.

Torres was charged with possession with intent to distribute class B crack cocaine and conspiracy to violate the drug law, and was also held on two outstanding arrest warrants at that time.

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