, Gloucester, MA

October 3, 2012

Same man nabbed twice amid drug raids

By Steven Fletcher
Staff Writer

---- — For the second time in 10 days, Gloucester detectives have arrested the same Salem man for dealing heroin in town.

Detectives Jeremiah Nicastro, Sean Conners and Tom Quinn arrested Jose Rodriguez III, 24, of 147 Washington St. in Salem on charges of distributing heroin after a chase through the city center on Sept. 22. But 10 days later, Nicastro got a call from an informant, who said Rodriguez was back in business

The detectives then staged a controlled buy at Burnham’s Field, and brought Rodriguez back into the station where he was arrested. He said he sold three bags of heroin on Monday, Oct 1.

Rodriguez was held Tuesday on $5,000 cash bail, after his arraignment, whereas he had walked out of court on $200 bail 10 days earlier.

This time, even if he paid the $5,000 Tuesday, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for the Essex County District Attorney’s office, he could be ordered held without bail for 60 days, as his first bail was revoked.

His arrest is the latest in a string of heroin and cocaine busts that Gloucester Detectives preformed last month. Since Sept. 1, Gloucester Police have worked an investigation that saw a total of six people arrested for heroin and cocaine possession, three of those for distribution. The three, Detective Jeremiah Nicastro said were high volume dealers from out of town.

The out-of-town dealers, said Chief of Detectives, Lt. Kathy Auld, are in it to make money — and that differentiates them from most local dealers, she said.

“Gloucester dealers deal to get their supply (of drugs), not to make money,” Auld said.

The investigation started after Nicastro and Detective Steve Mizzoni arrested a Chelsea man and a Salem woman on heroin distribution and possession charges on Grove Street, Sept. 1.

That afternoon, police arrested Luis Martinez, 21, of 154 Pearl St., Apt. 1 in Chelsea and Jennifer Bernabel of 89 Rainbow Terrace in Salem on heroin possession charges. Martinez had cut off Nicastro in a car after Nicastro left Burnham’s Field after hearing that four known heroin users were hanging around in the downtown park off Pleasant and Burnham streets.

In that case, officers stopped Martinez’ car on Grove street, and confiscated a small digital scale, 4.7 grams of heroin valued at around $700, and $1,157 in cash.

On the day of Martinez’ arrest, according to Nicastro’s incident report, a relative of the accused handed Nicastro a picture of Jose Rodriguez, saying that Rodriguez, not Martinez, was the one selling a lot of drugs her son.

A confidential source, Nicastro’s report indicates, then told police that Martinez was taking over for Rodriguez while he was out of the state. A few weeks later, another source told them that Rodriguez was back in town, selling large amounts of heroin. They said he buys heroin in Salem and Lynn and cuts it for sale in Gloucester.

On Sept. 21, police learned that Rodriguez who was scheduled to return from Lynn by train. When he came, he stepped off the train and got into a car driven by Aran Poole, 28, of 29 School St. in Gloucester. When detectives got out of unmarked cars and identified themselves, Poole took off, with June in the car.

As he pulled out, he hit Detective Quinn, knocking him to the ground, but Quinn quickly recovered and he and others chased the pair to Middle Street. It took considerable effort for officers to arrest the two, according to Nicastro’s report. Both resisted arrest, and Poole was pepper sprayed.

Rodriguez was taken to Addison Gilbert Hospital soon after, because police thought he swallowed the heroin. He had inserted five grams, valued at $700, into his rectum, but released that in the hospital, according to the report.

He told police that he picks up heroin several times a week for sale in Gloucester. When police arrested him, he had $679 in his pocket. Police would arrest him again for selling in town less than two weeks later.

Several days later, Nicastro and Detective Steven Mizzoni also arrested two Salem men for cocaine possession after they stopped their car on Washington Street. The two men — Alexander Oliviera, 21, of 8 ½ Center St. in Salem, and Jurgen Llanaj of 7 Cherry Hill Ave., Salem — had 14.7 grams of cocaine, valued at over $1,000, and a knife in the car.

Oliviera told police a day later that Llanaj asked him for a ride to Gloucester. At Exit 13 – the Route 128 exit for Concord Street — Olivera told police that Llanaj said he was going to Gloucester to sell drugs.

Police didn’t comment on how that arrest was related to the other three.

Auld said the arrest came out of solid police work. But, she said, there are probably more people coming in to deal from down the line.

The investigation, she added, is always ongoing.

Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.