12/22/2006

$100,000 in heroin seized from Mass. teen

By John Dignam and Craig S. Semon
Telegram & Gazette

WEBSTER- In one of two drug busts yesterday, police arrested a 16-year-old boy allegedly in possession of $100,000 worth of heroin.

Sgt. Michael D. Shaw said police are investigating the sources of drugs in both arrests, and whether the cases are connected.

In the second arrest, police wanted to talk to a 17-year-old Webster youth about his alleged involvement in "a large heroin distribution ring," a stop that resulted in the teen's arrest on charges of possessing cocaine.

Police Chief Timothy J. Bent said Sgt. Shaw was on patrol at 3 a.m. and stopped a 16-year-old he saw walking along South Main Street. Chief Bent said police have increased patrols because of recent robberies, including robberies at the Subway restaurant and White Hen store on Main Street.

Sgt. Shaw said he found on the youth about 50 grams of what was believed be pure heroin, 10 plastic bags of marijuana, two oxycodone pills, a scale, a mirror and plastic bags.

Sgt. Shaw said the amount of heroin equaled what is referred to as five "fingers" of heroin, a term used to describe heroin concealed in balloons, which are swallowed and later eliminated. Dealers then divide it into smaller packages to be sold on the street.

Sgt. Shaw reported that, based on a conversation with a representative of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration regional task force, the street value of the heroin seized from the boy was estimated to be $100,000 or more.

The boy was to be arraigned yesterday

in Dudley District Court on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, trafficking in heroin, possession of oxycodone, and drug violation near a school or park.

In a second drug bust about 11 a.m. yesterday,

Sgt. Shaw and Detective James T. Hoover arrested Jose L. Collazo, 17, of 9 Granite St., Apt. 2, for possession of 12 bags of powdered cocaine, for a total weight estimated at 5.5 grams.

Mr. Collazo was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, a drug violation near a school, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, and two counts of vandalizing property. He pleaded not guilty yesterday in Dudley District Court.

Peter C. Lamarine, the lawyer appointed to represent Mr. Collazo during his arraignment, said his client is a student at Worcester Technical High School. Mr. Lamarine told Judge Neil G. Snider that the drugs were not found on Mr. Collazo's person, and that police approached Mr. Collazo on the street and pat frisked him. Mr. Lamarine requested that Mr. Collazo be released on personal recognizance.

Judge Snider set bail at $2,500 and the case was continued to Feb. 6.

According to a police report filed with the court, Sgt. Shaw and Detective Hoover wanted to speak to Mr. Collazo about his alleged involvement in "a large, heroin distribution ring." Mr. Collazo ran when the two officers approached him at Lake and Granite streets, according to the report.

"I was going to transport him in the car we were in, not under arrest," Sgt. Shaw wrote in his report. "However, I did begin to pat him down for weapons and when I did, he pushed me away and started to run. I then yelled for him to stop and he kept running. I was trying to place him under arrest for disorderly conduct at the time. I grabbed his clothes and he kept pulling away as they were coming off."

According to the report, Mr. Collazo continued to struggle as the two officers tried to restrain him. Finally, he was handcuffed and searched. Sgt. Shaw suffered minor lacerations to his knees and Detective Hoover suffered a minor hand injury in the scuffle, according to the report.

Sgt. Shaw walked over to where the two officers first encountered Mr. Collazo and found a plastic bag. Inside it were several small, white packages containing what the officer believed to be cocaine, the report stated. Seized were 5.5 grams of cocaine packaged in 12 bags for individual sale. The contraband was found well within 1,000 feet of St. Louis School, Sgt. Shaw wrote in his report.

Mr. Collazo allegedly admitted to Detective Hoover that he was the owner of the packages, according to the report.

Copyright 2006 Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Inc.
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