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September 26, 2013

Man charged on warrants after raid on boat

Police, acting on a tip, arrested a Maine man on a boat Tuesday on warrants from his home state after a raid on two boats that did not turn up drugs, but signs that crew members had been using heroin.

Police first responded to a report of a “brick” of heroin aboard the F/V Orion, which was tied up next to the vessel Capt. Joe at the Jodrey State Fish Pier around 10 p.m.

Police then notified the U.S. Coast Guard, and a Coast Guard representative said Wednesday that people were coming back and forth between the two vessels. The police report also noted harbor security cameras as showing “activity” around the two vessels.

The Coast Guard then conducted safety boardings onto both vessels, and city police then arrested 40-year-old Todd Blacker, a crew member of the Capt. Joe. Police said Blackler, who lives in Warren, Maine, has four warrants for his arrest from Maine, all for failing to appear in court.

Numerous Class A drug paraphernalia, however, was found on board in the captain’s cabin, while two other crew members of the Capt. Joe had “fresh track marks” on their arms and admitted to using heroin prior to police response, according to the city police report.

There were, however, no drugs found on board, and none of the other crew members have been charged. The Class A classification of drugs includes heroin.

This is the second time within three months police have investigated a report of drugs on a fishing vessel.

In July, a Maine man died of what was initially described as an apparent asthma attack onboard the Osprey while it was at sea, and Coast Guard officials asked Gloucester police to meet the vessel and Coast Guard crews with The GPD’s drug-sniffing K-9 unit when the vessel returned.

A small amount of a class A drug was also found on that vessel, but Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello said there was no foul play in the death.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.

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