EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

October 19, 2012

Police: Drug dealer with EBT card had $15K cash

'I can't find a job,' he tells police during arrest

HAVERHILL — Shortly after police charged Richard Chase with selling illegal drugs, they said they searched his apartment and found $15,000 in cash, hundreds of Oxycodone pills, a police scanner and a list of area police scanner frequencies.

Before he was arrested, Chase used his government-provided EBT card to buy food at a convenience store, police said. When he was arrested, police found the Electronic Benefits Transfer card — otherwise known as food stamps — on him along with a receipt for his purchases. Chase told police “you got me” and said he’s been unable to find a job.

During his arraignment yesterday in Haverhill District Court, the 6-foot, 1-inch 355-pound Chase reached from side to side while handcuffed in an effort to pull up his pants, which appeared to be falling down. Throughout the hearing, he faced a rear wall, keeping his back to the courtroom, and spent most of the time looking out a rear window and sometimes at the judge.

“This is someone who used an EBT card about an hour before he was arrested,” Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo said. “He has a nine-page record, he has access to cash, and Mr. Chase has been dealing with this sort of thing for years and years.”

Chase, 55, who up until yesterday lived at 12 Freeman St., third floor, was arrested Wednesday after police arranged to have an informant buy Oxycodone pills from him. During yesterday’s hearing, a woman addressed the court and said she owned the building where Chase was renting a room and that she wanted him out. Judge Stephen Abany approved her request to evict Chase, who responded by saying he would have one of his adult children remove his things from the apartment.

DePaulo asked the judge to hold Chase on $100,000 cash bail, saying he’s been dealing drugs for years, is known to police and has served jail time in the past.

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