EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 26, 2012

Methuen raid nets one arrest, pills and cash

METHUEN — Police raided the Pelham Street apartment of an alleged drug dealer early yesterday, seizing about 30 pills, $1,500 and a small bag of marijuana.

The raid was conducted by Methuen officers at 6 a.m. with the assistance of a SWAT team from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, or NEMLEC.

Matthew Tropiano, 25, of 423 Pelham St., Apt. 15, is a “mid-level to low-mid-level dealer,” said Det. Lt. James Jajuga Jr. Tropiano faces three counts of illegal Oxycodone distribution and seven counts of illegal drug possession.

While the raid did not yield a large cache of drugs, Jajuga said it should serve as warning to other dealers in the city.

“There are numerous targets that we’re monitoring and pursuing and if found to be in violation of the law, they will be charged criminally,” said Jajuga. “We want to make it clear. Any narcotics trafficking in the city of Methuen will be dealt with swiftly.”

Tropiano’s arrest is the result of an undercover drug investigation.

He was wanted on warrant for two counts of distribution of a class B substance (Oxycodone). Armed with a search warrant, police forced entry into Tropiano’s apartment. He was alone inside and did not resist arrest.

“He was taken into custody without incident,” said Jajuga.

During their search, Jajuga said police confiscated approximately 30 pills from the apartment, including Clonazepam, Diazepam, Carisoprodol, M Amphet salts, and two other varieties of pills police were still working to identify yesterday.

Police also seized $1,449 in cash and a small bag of marijuana, Jajuga said.

As a result of the search, Tropiano was also charged with illegal possession of a class B substance (Oxycodone), illegal possession of a class B substance (Oxycodone) with intent to distribute, and six counts of illegal possession of a class E substance.

Tropiano was expected to be arraigned either yesterday or today in Lawrence District Court.

He was known to Methuen police before the recent drug investigation, having been arrested in 2008 on marijuana distribution charges.

Photos of the raid posted on the Methuen Police Department Facebook page showed over a dozen officers, several armed with automatic weapons.

“It went down without incident,” said Jajuga. “We want to commend the NEMLEC team for their efforts. It went extremely well.”

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