HAVERHILL — Police said these people picked the wrong place to make a drug deal — a common meeting spot for local dealers and out-of-town buyers.
Police were conducting routine surveillance of the Westgate Plaza area on Monday, watching for people from New Hampshire and Maine who meet up near the highway with Merrimack Valley drug dealers to make a buy. This time it was two men from Hampton who had arranged to meet a Methuen couple, police said.
The two men drew the attention of police by parking their pickup truck and sitting inside it for a long period. When another vehicle pulled up next to them, the meeting in Haverhill was about to end in a bad way.
Police arrested Theodore Plouffe, 49, and Jason Deyo, 38, both of Hampton, and charged them with possession of heroin and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. Police said Plouffe is disabled and Deyo is unemployed.
Police also arrested Isabel Reyes, 34, and Jose Rodriguez, 47, both of 161 Merrimack St., Methuen. Both men were charged with trafficking and distribution of heroin, possession to distribute cocaine, and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. Reyes was also charged with disguising herself to obstruct justice. Police said Reyes gave them a false name when they arrested her. Police listed both of them as unemployed.
Police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said police regularly watch areas just off Interstate 495 where drug buyers from the north are known to meet dealers from the valley. The meeting places change occasionally, forcing police to monitor a variety of locations.
“How it usually works is they come down from the north, make a call and arrange for a meeting spot just off the highway,” Thompson said. “This is why we monitor these locations from time to time.
“What we find is it doesn’t stop, but if the people who are buying and selling drugs hear or see that police are monitoring an area, they’ll pick another spot,’’ he said. “In this instance, it was the Westgate Plaza area, while at other times they get off on Amesbury Road.”