EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 2, 2014

Traffic stop leads to drug arrests

LAWRENCE — Detectives of the Lawrence Police Department’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit credit a routine traffic violation in the arrest of two out-of-towners who may have gotten away with buying drugs in the city Wednesday. The drug unit momentarily lost sight of two cars it had under surveillance in the city’s Arlington District in what police suspected was a drugs transaction.

But police had grounds to stop a red 1995 Chevrolet Suburban with a New Hampshire license plate for speeding and the failure of the driver to use a directional while making a turn onto Lawrence Street, Detective Carmen Purpora wrote in his arrest report. Paul Lopez, 26, of Manchester, N.H., was charged with trafficking in more than 28 grams of heroin and possession of cocaine. Police later discovered that Lopez was being sought on outstanding arrest warrants for possession of a firearm and distribution of marijuana. Jonah Sacks, 41, of Somerville, the driver of the Suburban, was charged with possession of cocaine.

Police observed a crack pipe in the driver’s side door panel. Lopez told police he had just bought crack cocaine from an unknown drug dealer driving a gray Honda Accord and later admitting to having additional narcotics on him. Detective David Moynihan recovered about 56 grams of heroin from his groin area, Purpora wrote in his arrest report. Detectives said the heroin seized had a street value of about $1,500.

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