AP NEWS

Fitchburg School Worker, 3 Others Charged in Drug Probe

March 7, 2019

FITCHBURG -- A paraprofessional working at Longsjo Middle School was arraigned Tuesday on charges of cocaine trafficking after a search warrant was executed at his residence last Friday that resulted in the arrest of three other men on identical charges, according to court documents.

Jonathon Batalis, 24, of 20 Wilson St., turned himself into the Police Department on Tuesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest for one count of trafficking more than 18 and less than 36 grams of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of more than 10 ounces of marijuana.

Rick Zeena, the school district’s administrator of Human Resources, confirmed Wednesday that Batalis was a district employee but declined to comment on the situation, calling it a personnel matter.

Batalis was one of four men arrested late last week and earlier this week on cocaine trafficking charges after an undercover operation conducted by the Police Department’s Drug Task Force and State Police led to the execution of the search warrant on Friday.

Batalis, according to court documents, was identified by mail addressed to him found in his basement apartment on Wilson Street while its contents were being inventoried.

The other three suspects facing cocaine trafficking charges are Luis Santiago, 20, of Wood Street, Kapree J. Green, 24, of 8 Brigham St., and Diante B. Anderson, 18, of the Wilson Street address.

Santiago, Green and Batalis are facing identical charges of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, trafficking cocaine as a result of the discovery of 26 grams of the Class B controlled substance, and possession of more than 10 ounces of marijuana.

Anderson was also charged with resisting arrest after yelling and fighting with officers attempting to take him into custody in which officer used an electronic stun gun to subdue him.

Anderson was also charged with possession of an illegal handgun, a .32 caliber vest pocket self-cocker, according to court documents.

As for Batalis, police reported that he is considered a flight risk because of the large amount of illegal drugs seized.

When Batalis was arraigned on Tuesday, he was released after posting $1,000 cash bail and ordered to remain drug-free.

Santiago and Anderson were released after posting a cash bail of $300.

Green was released on a written promise to appear.

The next court date for the four is April 18.