SALEM — A father and son face felony charges after police seized more than 5 1/2 pounds of marijuana, an undisclosed amount of steroids and more than $16,000 in cash from their Alfred Drive home Thursday afternoon.
Raymond Speight Jr., 22, and Raymond Speight, 50, were taken into custody without incident after police stopped their vehicle just after 1 p.m. Thursday.
The younger Speight faces five felony drug charges, his father one.
The arrests were the culmination of a lengthy investigation by Salem police detectives, the U.S. Postal Service Inspection Service and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency/Cross Border Initiative Task Force, police said.
The investigation started in February, when a postal worker in Methuen alerted Massachusetts State Police to suspicious packages coming into the post office there.
The DEA task force and Salem detectives also became involved in the investigation.
Detectives intercepted a delivery Thursday and a Salem police drug-sniffing dog alerted on the packages. The Speights were placed under surveillance and police watched them pick up the two packages. They were arrested in Salem shortly thereafter.
Police searched the packages the father and son had just picked up and found 3 pounds of marijuana inside. Using a search warrant, police then searched the Speights' home at 20 Alfred Drive and discovered another 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of marijuana, the cash and anabolic steroids.
"Cash was stacked on shelves, marijuana was everywhere out in the open.," Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said. "Detectives counted nearly two dozen empty boxes."
Those boxes were from previous drug shipments, all from Arizona, Patten said.
"We figure he sold upward of 50-plus pounds of marijuana over the last two months," Patten said of the younger Speight. "He wasn't a small-time dealer. We believe he was moving marijuana in half- to 1-pound quantities. He's probably a mid-level dealer."
Police don't believe the elder Speight was dealing drugs, Patten said, but they do believe he was aware of his son's activities.
"The dad was in the car," he said. "The son was the dealer, but the dad drove the son there to pick up drugs and knew it was going on."
Police put the street value of the marijuana at $30,000.
Along with the numerous boxes that indicated previous drug shipments, police also found "assorted" drug paraphernalia in the home.
Raymond Speight Jr. is charged with four felony counts of possession of a controlled drug, one each for the four different kinds of steroids police found. He also faces one count of possession with intent to distribute for the marijuana. His father faces a single felony charge of conspiracy to violate the controlled drug act.
Raymond Speight was released on $500 personal recognizance.
The younger Speight was held on $50,000 cash bail after his arraignment in 10th Circuit Court in Salem yesterday. But even if he comes up with the cash, his release would be subject to a source of funds hearing first, Patten said.
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