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Boston and Beyond

October 3, 2013

Heroin arrests made in Newburyport

Police: Drug being sold at park, rail trail

NEWBURYPORT — Months of selling heroin inside Cashman Park, the city’s rail trail and other highly public areas finally caught up with two Merrimac residents who were arrested earlier this week and now face numerous drug charges, the culmination of a months-long investigation, according to local police.

Around the same time, another well-known heroin dealer living in Salisbury was arrested by police there after watching him sell heroin inside a CVS Pharmacy parking lot on Beach Road. Earlier in September, the suspect allegedly sold drugs to an undercover Newburyport police officer, according to court records.

Thomas E. Dastous, 30, of 56 East Main St., No. 2, Merrimac; and Katie Sullivan, 27, same address, were arrested Tuesday by Newburyport police in Merrimac and charged with heroin distribution, heroin possession, conspiracy to violate the drug law and selling drugs near a school or park. They were arraigned in Newburyport District Court hours later and are due back in court on Oct. 28 for pretrial hearings. Sullivan is being held on $10,000 cash bail while Dastous is being held on $5,000 cash bail.

“Yesterday was collection day, we went and picked them all up,” Newburyport City Marshal Thomas Howard said yesterday regarding Tuesday’s arrests of Dastous and Sullivan.

Merrimac police assisted in the arrests, Howard added.

In Salisbury, police there arrested 50-year-old Dana Abrahams on Tuesday after observing him sell drugs inside the CVS Pharmacy parking lot on Beach Road. Abrahams was also wanted by Newburyport police for selling drugs in that city. Salisbury police charged Abrahams with heroin distribution and a previous warrant. Newburyport police charged him with heroin possession, heroin distribution and conspiracy to violate drug laws. He was arraigned yesterday at Newburyport District Court and is being held on $10,000 cash bail. He is due back in court Oct. 28 for a pretrial hearing.

Heroin sales have been on the rise in Newburyport and surrounding communities in recent years as police say it has become cheaper and easier to acquire than prescription drugs. As inspectors noticed the uptick in heroin use and sales, they began targeting public areas such as Cashman Park and the rail trail that were becoming well-known by users and dealers as places to conduct business.

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