By Jill Harmacinski
---- — With heroin overdoses on the increase regionally, local and state police teamed up for a sweeping drug investigation in Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill on Thursday afternoon and evening.
The raid spanned eight hours and included detectives from Methuen, Lawrence, North Andover, Andover, Haverhill, Salem, N.H., Massachusetts state police, the FBI and Essex County Sheriff’s Department.
Police, who broke up into four teams, made 30 arrests in the sweep, which started just after 1 p.m. Thursday in Lawrence.
There’s been an uptick in heroin overdoses recently, possibly caused by a tainted or especially potent supply of the illegal drug in the region.
Overdoses were reported in Haverhill, Methuen, Salem, N.H., Portsmouth, N.H. A man died of a heroin overdose in Gloucester on Wednesday night.
A 20-year-old Haverhill woman who overdosed in Salem, N.H. remains in critical condition at the Boston hospital. In connection with the woman’s overdose, Salem, N.H. police charged Jeffrey Pickett, 22, of 12 Ticklefancy Lane, with a felony heroin possession charge and a misdemeanor heroin charge.
Area police chiefs met a week ago to discuss the overdose problem and arranged for the joint raid in response. Local police are working with the Massachusetts State Police, through its fusion center, to better track the overdoses, said Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon.
Methuen police saw a spike in heroin overdoses in November, Solomon said.
In one investigation Thursday, police followed a car driven by Carl Saccoccio, 22, of Somerville, into a Lawrence gas station. Saccoccio parked his car briefly, according to detectives, and then picked up a male passenger.
The two drove to Lawrence Street and parked, as the passenger got out of the car. Detectives then saw Saccoccio raise a plastic bag to his mouth and bite off the end, according to a report by Lawrence Detective Shaun McLellan.
When police approached the car, they found Saccoccio was holding a “clear plastic twist with a tan powder” detectives immediately recognized as heroin. Also found in the car were a hypodermic syringe and a bottle cap, which are both used for heroin consumption, McLellan wrote.
Saccoccio was arrested and charged with illegal possession of heroin.
The following people were among those arrested Thursday:
Felicia Lin Gray, 24, of 100 Oxford St., Fryeburg, Maine; illegal possession of heroin.
Brendon Lane, 19, of 185 Patridge Road, Conway, N.H.; illegal possession of heroin.
Susan Lynn Kennedy, 41, also known as Susan Rapaglia, homeless; illegal possession of heroin.
Luis Angel Garcia, 51, of 25 Dartmouth St., Lawrence; illegal possession of heroin
Michael Guillet, 21, of 141 Golden Oaks Road, #41, Albany, N.H.; illegal possession of heroin.
Anthony Michael Jaskolka, 24, of 386 Brunelle Ave., Manchester, N.H.; illegal possession of Suboxone.
Sean Marshall, 20, of 110 Maiden Lane, Farmington, Maine; illegal possession of heroin.
James C. Daniels, 23, of 57A Griffin Road, Hudson, N.H.; illegal possession of heroin, conspiracy to violate narcotics laws, outstanding warrant.
Peter Carter, 29, of 5 Guild Road, Burlington; knowingly being present where heroin is kept, four warrants.
Carlo Saccoccio, 22, of 31 Aberdeen Road, Somerville; illegal possession of heroin.
Jessica Soucy, 22, of 453 Mammoth Road, Pelham, N.H.; Lowell warrant for illegal possession of heroin, outstanding N.H. warrant.
Christopher Starr McCall, 32, of 711 South Main St., Manchester, N.H.; Lawrence warrant for illegal possession of heroin.
Julio Cesar Martinez Jr., 21, of 52 Bennington St., #2, Lawrence; distribution of heroin.
Thomas Lawless IV, 32, of 30 Isabelle Circle, Rowley; illegal possession of heroin.
Shailyn Harrington, 22, of 45 South St., Byfield; illegal possession of heroin, three outstanding warrants.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.