By Douglas Moser
---- — METHUEN — Three people were arrested on drug and gun charges Monday after police said they found hundreds of grams of heroin, two rifles and a handgun in a Railroad Street apartment.
All three – Laurie B. van Coppenolle, 27, 96 Railroad St., Heibrahim Delvalle-Baez, 27, 4 Winslow Place, Lawrence, and a 17-year-old male from Lawrence – were charged with major trafficking in heroin (more than 300 grams), possession of a class A substance with intent to distribute, possession of a class A substance, two counts possession of a firearm without an FID card, possession of a firearm without a license to carry, possession of a large-capacity feeding device, unlawful possession of ammunition and improper storage of a firearm, according to police records.
Police responded to an apartment at 96 Railroad St. just past 4 p.m. Monday after receiving a report of a domestic disturbance, said police Sgt. James Gunter. While officers interviewed van Coppenolle, who said she had just moved into the apartment from Lawrence days before, they heard a noise in a bedroom.
They investigated the sound in the bedroom, and Delvalle-Baez darted out of a closet in his stocking feet and ran outside. Police chased on foot and eventually caught him.
He received additional disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges.
Police who stayed behind in the apartment saw "in plain view in the closet" bags of heroin, Gunter said.
They stopped the investigation, contacted the department's narcotics division and got a search warrant, he said. In all, police recovered 633 grams of heroin, which at up to $80 per gram on the street had a value of $50,640. Gunter said some of the heroin found was not adulterated, which dealers frequently do to stretch their product further, and could have had a higher value.
During the search, police also found two .22 caliber rifles, a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun, a 15-round magazine, considered a prohibited large capacity magazine under state law, with .40 caliber bullets, a 16-round magazine for a 9mm handgun, a magazine for a .22 caliber weapon and ammunition.
Gunter said Devalle-Baez had $744 on him, and a small amount of cash was discovered in the apartment.
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