Dartmouth police help with investigation leading to drug conviction

Mar 9, 2023

One of the top lieutenants in the Orlando Badillo Fentanyl Drug Trafficking Organization, which was dismantled in 2019 as a result of a year-long multi-agency investigation involving Dartmouth Police and led by Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office, was sentenced to prison last week, according to the district attorney’s office.

David Luna, 40, of New Bedford, pled guilty in Fall River Superior Court on March 2 to indictments charging him with trafficking in Fentanyl, conspiracy to unlawfully distribute a Class A drug and possession of Fentanyl with intent to distribute.  

He was sentenced by Judge Sharon Donatelle to serve five years in state prison, to be followed by two years of supervised probation.  He also forfeited nearly $9,000 in cash illegally obtained through drug distribution efforts.

In June 2018, a Dartmouth Police Department detective and a Massachusetts State Police Trooper from Quinn’s State Police Drug Unit developed credible information that Orlando Badillo was operating a large-scale Fentanyl drug trafficking organization throughout the greater New Bedford area, the district attorney’s office said.

 This information sparked “Operation Ghost,” a year-long multi-agency effort to stop the trafficking ring. As their investigation progressed, other local and federal law enforcement Agencies joined the probe, including New Bedford Police, Drug Enforcement Agency, Homeland Security and the Bristol County Sheriff's Office, according to the district attorney.

 Luna played a major role as a distributor of large quantities of fentanyl and heroin in the Greater Bristol Country area, the district attorney’s office reported. In addition to being a drug distributor, Quinn’s office reported, he was also a trusted member of the Badillo Drug Trafficking Organization and was often called upon to give advice and counseling on the organization’s illegal business practices.

 The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Steve Butts, the chief of Quinn’s Narcotics Prosecution Unit.

 “I am pleased this defendant was held accountable for his leadership role in the Badillo Fentanyl Trafficking Organization. This defendant and others in the organization were profiting off of the addiction of people in our communities. The sentence holds him accountable and protects the public from him continuing to sell large quantities of drugs,” Quinn said.