EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 3, 2013

Lawrence narcotics unit keeps up the pressure

LAWRENCE — During two consecutive days last week, multiple arrests were made by the city’s drug enforcement unit conducting separate operations around the city.

Six people were arrested by the city’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit Thursday after officers observed two alleged heroin deals. On Wednesday, a half-dozen others were arrested on similar charges.

Det. Shaun McLellan said in his reports on the Thursday incidents that he had recently spoken to residents in the Broadway area of the city who complained of ongoing drug activity in their neighborhood. As a result, he set up surveillance operations with the special operations unit.

In the first case Thursday, two people were arrested on drug charges.

Hector Arias-Lara, 35, of 198 Union St., Apt. 1, Lawrence, was charged with distribution of Class A (heroin) and providing a false name to police. Joshua Zimmerman, 25, of 904 Bridge St., Pelham, N.H., was charged with possession of a Class A drug (heroin) and two warrants for receiving stolen property and larceny by false pretense.

Those arrests followed an operation that began around 1 in the afternoon. Zimmerman was observed by officers in undercover vehicles driving a black Nissan Xterra on Haverhill Street and turning onto Newbury Street, where he suddenly stopped and pulled over to the side of the road. A man approached him and got into the car. Together, they drove around the neighborhood before stopping on Union Street near Brook Street.

Arias-Lara got out of the car and went into a market at 160 Union St.

Police pulled over Zimmerman and asked Arias-Lara to come outside to talk. During their investigation, they found 12 hypodermic syringes in an eyeglasses case and four plastic baggies containing brown powder police believe was heroin. They were both arrested.

During booking, police realized that the original name given by Arias-Lara, Neftali Delgado Rivera, was false. After running his real name, Arias-Lara was held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detainer.

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