Large amount of fentanyl, cash seized in Salem 

Salem Police seized nearly 7 ounces of fentanyl and $13,000 in cash Friday following a two-week investigation into a suspected drug dealer (Courtesy photo)

SALEM — Police seized nearly half a pound of fentanyl and $13,000 in cash following the arrest Friday of a man who had made a series of undercover sales of the synthetic opiate to an undercover Salem police officer during the past two weeks. 

Jose Fernando Vittini Arias, 25, who was renting a room at 49 Butler St., Salem, will be arraigned Monday in Salem District Court on charges of fentanyl trafficking and four counts of distributing fentanyl, Salem Police Lt. Stephen Bona said. 

Police had received complaints from neighbors about suspected drug dealing, said Bona, and arranged for an officer to pose as a customer. 

That undercover officer made three purchases of fentanyl, allegedly from Arias, during the past two weeks, said Bona, the head of the criminal investigations division in the Salem Police Department. 

That allowed Detective Deni Gaito to get a search warrant for the house. 

Police set up another undercover purchase on Friday afternoon, then arrested Arias and searched the home. That search turned up 190 grams (6.8 ounces) of fentanyl and the cash, said Bona. 

Also involved in the investigation besides Bona and Gaito were detectives Kevin St. Pierre, Robert Cunningham, Thomas Brennan, Sgt. Kristian Hanson, and Patrolman Corey Boulay 

Arias was expected to be held on bail over the weekend pending his appearance in court on Monday. 

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.