EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 7, 2012

City employee arrested after drug raid

Landlord says other city workers may have been customers

HAVERHILL — A city highway department employee was arrested for dealing rock cocaine and morphine Thursday night, and his landlord says other public employees may have been among his customers.

Jonathan Hernandez, 23, was charged with possession to distribute a Class B substance (rock cocaine), possession of a Class B substance (Oxycodone), possession to distribute a Class A substance (morphine) and possession of a Class A substance (Suboxone). His arrest came after an drug task force investigation into drug sales at the Groveland Street apartment building where he was living, detectives said.

Pamela Rosengard, who owns the five-family home at 94-98 Groveland St. where Hernandez was living, said she’d been receiving many reports from other tenants of cars and trucks, including city vehicles, stopping at the building for short periods of time and people coming and going at all hours of the day and night. Rosengard said license plate numbers and descriptions of those vehicles were turned into police.

Rosengard’s lawyer, Kimberly Zizza of Haverhill, said in court yesterday her client wanted Hernandez evicted as a result of Thursday’s drug raid. She said that by law, a landlord can request a 24-hour eviction of tenants who’ve been arrested for dealing drugs.

“My client along with other concerned people have been monitoring this apartment,” Zizza said, adding that, “City trucks and city workers were patronizing him.”

Mayor James Fiorentini said Hernandez has worked for the city’s Highway Parks Department for about a year as a laborer and is paid approximately $30,000 a year.

“He has been suspended immediately without pay,” Fiorentini said. “If he is convicted, he will be terminated.”

Fiorentini said he would not respond to comments made in court regarding city vehicles stopping by Hernandez’ apartment.

“I’ll refer comments to police and I’m sure they will conduct a thorough investigation as they always do,” the mayor said. “The city as a matter of policy never comments on ongoing investigations.”

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