EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 16, 2014

Police arrest four alleged heroin peddlers on Marston Street

LAWRENCE — Police arrested four alleged heroin peddlers on Marston Street early Friday afternoon.

The suspects, three men and a woman, were held on high cash bail pending their arraignment in Lawrence District Court tomorrowe, according to police Capt. Roy Vasque of the Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit. Officers seized nearly 54 grams of heroin, which could fetch more than $3,000 on the street; and $2,404 in cash, police said.

Charged with trafficking in heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute are Angela Hodgson, 34, of 37 Unity St., Rochester, N.H.; Raymond Joseph Paplaskas III, 26, of 36 Brandee Lane, Methuen; Joseph Michael Papa II, 26, of 5 Folsom St., Dover, N.H.; and David Driscoll, 30, of 208 Blackwater Road, Rochester, N.H.

Vasque pointed out that New Hampshire residents come to Lawrence, buy heroin here and then sell the drug at a profit in their communities. They'll buy heroin for $40 a gram in Lawrence, then sell it for as much as $110 a gram, he said.

The Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit was watching the Union Street area for illegal drug activity Friday afternoon. Officers saw a purple 2002 Buick Rendezvous with New Hampshire plates heading south on Union Street, then saw it again at Marston and General streets, according to a report filed by Detective Carmen Purpora.

When the car pulled over at General and Union streets, Paplaskas ran across the street and got into the back seat, Purpora wrote. Such behavior is typical for out-of-state residents seeking to buy drugs, police said.

The car, driven by Hodgson, pulled into a Lawrence General Hospital parking lot, according to Purpora's report. Again, this activity is typical for people on drug-related business as they look for a secluded place to inject or snort heroin, police said.

Because the parking lot was full, the car headed back to General Street, according to the detective's report. Officers saw the occupants of the vehicle moving around while it was moving, with Driscoll looking down at his lap, Purpora wrote.

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