EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 6, 2013

Suspect in drug case was out on bail in two burglaries

By Julie Manganis
Staff Writer

---- — SALEM — A Salem man out on bail in two separate burglary cases, including breaks into dozens of self-storage lockers at a Salem warehouse last spring, was peddling a laundry list of illicit drugs from his apartment, police say.

It’s not clear whether Justin Smith, 24, of 21 Essex St. Apt. 1L will be able to make bail this time around, after a Salem District Court judge set it at $10,000 on the new charges but also revoked his bail in the two pending burglary cases.

Salem police had received information that Smith was selling drugs and arranged for several undercover purchases, which then allowed them to obtain a search warrant for his apartment.

On Thursday evening shortly before 7 p.m., a team of officers and police detectives moved in on the house after conducting surveillance.

When there was no answer, officers broke down the door. They encountered Smith coming out of a back bedroom. Though he turned around and went back into the room, police followed.

Smith claimed that he had only a $40 bag of cocaine on him.

But underneath his mattress, police found 39 grams of cocaine (almost an ounce and a half); 30 small bags of heroin totalling 12.7 grams and eight small bags of marijuana totaling 99 grams (three and a half ounces).

Police found more cocaine in a bag in the dresser, loose cocaine and heroin on top of the dresser, and dozens of pills, including Ecstasy, Suboxone, methadone and clonazepam, some of them tucked into an Advil bottle.

The officers also found drug paraphernalia, including several scales, a box of plastic bags, and a razor and straw.

They also found rounds of nine millimeter ammunition, a Louis Vuitton wallet and a box for the wallet that contained $500 in cash.

Police seized some personal papers as well, including the bail receipts for his prior cases. Police often take paperwork to show a suspect’s address during a search.

Smith is now charged with trafficking in cocaine over one ounce, and possession of class A, B, C and D controlled substances.

Involved in the arrest were Salem police detectives Eric Connolly, Dennis Gaudet, Kevin St. Pierre, Capt. Thomas Griffin, Sgt. James Page, Sgt. Jack Doyle, and Peter Baglione; Sgt. Kristian Hanson, and patrolmen Brian St. Pierre and Dana Mazola.

In April, Smith was one of three men charged with waiting until the Public Storage self-storage warehouse off Bridge Street was closed, then breaking into dozens of storage lockers and loading valuables into a box truck that belonged to one of the other suspects.

Four months later, Beverly police arrested Smith after a homeowner caught him and a second man allegedly breaking into his truck. Police noted at the time that Smith was wearing clear plastic gloves.

Smith was already due to appear in court on Jan. 18 in the earlier cases; a status hearing in his new case is scheduled for then as well. However, because of the amount of cocaine police say they found in his apartment, the case may fall outside of the jurisdiction of the district court and Smith could be indicted.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.