By Dave Rogers
---- — Five people were arrested Friday afternoon after simultaneous drug raids in Amesbury and Salisbury, striking a blow to heroin sales in both communities, according to law enforcement officials.
In Amesbury, Dana Abraham, 24, and Kimmie Kelley, 23, both of 164 Whitehall Road, B1A10, Amesbury, were arrested after local police, with assistance from a state police SWAT team, swarmed their British Colonial Apartments home, according to Amesbury Lt. Jeffrey Worthen.
Both were charged with possession of heroin to distribute, conspiracy to violate the controlled substance law, knowing being present where heroin is kept, two counts of possession of a class B substance (methadone and Suboxone) and possession of fireworks.
Worthen said the raid took place around 5 p.m. after law enforcement officials had obtained a search warrant after months of investigation. A heavily armed SWAT team was called in to assist based on information the suspects possessed weapons.
Weapons, including machetes, bats and knives, were indeed among the items found in the apartment, along with digital scales, packaging supplies, around $6,000 in cash and two grams of heroin, according to Worthen.
“He’s been a major supplier for the area,” Worthen said, referring to Abraham. “I’m very pleased with the arrest on these charges. I think it will put a dent in the sales of heroin in the area.”
At the same time in Salisbury, 18 police officers, detectives and a state police K9 unit burst into a Northend Boulevard apartment complex and arrested three suspects.
Brian Maguire, 23, and Brian Birmingham, 24, both of Central Street in Salisbury; and Dale Sullivan, 40, of Oakland Street in Amesbury, were arrested. Sullivan was charged with a previous warrant while Maguire and Birmingham were charged with possession of class A and class D substances. Found in the apartments were prescription drugs, heroin, drug packaging and needles.
Fowler said officers were split into three teams and executed warrants with each group hitting one of the trio of apartments in the complex.
“This was a very busy place with people stopping in and buying drugs,” Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler said, adding that neighbors came up to him following the raid saying they were relieved police took action.
Both Worthen and Fowler said the drug activities going on at both addresses were related and that the departments were working together for an extended time.
“We knew the two locations were connected,” Fowler said.
The raids were funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety. Newburyport police were also involved with the arrests and the investigations, according to police.
All five suspects are expected to be arraigned today at Newburypport District Court.