EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 11, 2014

Police bust pregnant woman

Mom charged with selling heroin in a school zone

LAWRENCE — A 7-month-pregnant woman was arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence District Court for allegedly selling heroin in a Methuen school zone.

Police arrested Alba Cruz, 32, of 20 Bennett St. in Lawrence, on Tuesday after allegedly watching her sell heroin to two New Hampshire residents on Strathmore Road near St. Ann’s Home and School at 100 Haverhill St.

The Methuen Police drug unit was conducting surveillance on Haverhill Street at 1:30 p.m. when they observed two men in a white pickup truck with New Hampshire license plates pull over to the side of the road and meet with Cruz.

She then walked up Haverhill Street with one occupant of the vehicle, Peter Beland, 23, of Milford, N.H., and onto Strathmore Road where police say they saw the two completing a drug transaction.

Police arrested Cruz as she walked back toward Haverhill Street, and Beland as he got back into the pickup truck along with the second occupant, Nicholas Kierstead, 21, of Dublin, N.H.

During the booking process, Cruz told police she was seven months pregnant.

Officers say that after they stopped the pickup truck, they found a hypodermic needle on Beland’s lap, a tan powdery substance strewn on the floor from the passenger side to the driver side, an empty plastic bag, a cotton swab and a bag containing heroin.

Police seized 4.5 grams of heroin from the truck and found Cruz carrying $200, the amount Beland told police he paid to her.

Beland’s cellphone was also recovered. He told police Cruz’s number is listed in his phone as “never mix business with pleasure,” which police then found in his recent call history and traced back to Cruz’s phone.

“We’ve been concentrating surveillance there (Haverhill Street) and have gotten complaints in that part of the city,” said Methuen Police Sgt. Jim Gunter. Residents have complained about drug transactions between vehicles or between people on the street, he said.

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