EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 18, 2013

Convicted felon faces drug, weapon charges

Former Windham man was convicted in fatal drug overdose

By Jo-Anne MacKenzie

---- — SALEM — Just two years after a young woman was found dead in his Windham home, Joseph Ida, 25, was found unconscious in a pickup truck, heroin nearby.

Ida, now a Woburn resident, was discovered in the parking lot at Shogun Tattoo at 326 S. Broadway Monday afternoon, according to Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten.

"It came in as a request for a welfare check for an unconscious person in a vehicle," Patten said.

Responding officers found Ida in the truck, a drug kit, used hypodermic needles and a small amount of heroin nearby.

"He was under the influence," Patten said. "He did not require medical treatment."

Ida also had a 9 mm handgun hidden in his clothing, Patten said. That gun was reported stolen in Maine in 2011.

In December 2012, Ida was ordered to jail for seven days after pleading guilty to felony drug charges in the case involving the death of 20-year-old Ellie Morin, a University of New Hampshire student and Windham resident. Morin was found dead in Ida's family home on Bear Hill Road in Windham Dec. 21, 2011.

When investigating Morin's death, police found a small amount of heroin, diazepam tablets and a small lab in the attic they believed was used to manufacture drugs.

In May 2012, a grand jury indicted Ida on two felony drug charges.

Last year, in addition to the week in jail, Ida received a suspended 18-month- to three-year prison sentence from Rockingham Superior Court Judge Marguerite Wageling as part of a plea bargain.

Ida initially was charged with making the hallucinogenic drug Dimethyltryptamine — known as DMT on the street, police said. He was never indicted on that charge.

He was convicted of possession of a controlled drug in November 2006.

For the incident Monday in Salem, Ida faces multiple charges.

He is charged with felony possession of heroin, being a felon in possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property (the handgun), transportation of drugs in a motor vehicle and carrying a handgun without a license.

His bail was set yesterday morning at $50,000 cash or surety. He remained in the county jail yesterday.