ANDOVER -- Police arrested Osvaldo Mota, 20, of Randolph on Thursday for trafficking in heroin and distribution of a class A substance.
Mota was arrested at around 11:40 a.m. in the River Road area with 207 grams of heroin, after members of the Andover Detective Division's Substance Abuse Unit observed what appeared to be a drug transaction.
Andover police Lt. Frank Fitzpatrick said officers John Delaney and Matthew Hughes were on River Road in unmarked police vehicles.
"They did observe a female texting on River Road, and followed her to Minuteman Road, and what appeared to be a hand-to-hand interaction took place in proximity to two hotel parking lots," Fitzpatrick said.
The detectives approached both people involved in the transaction separately, and found that Mota had concealed a large quantity of heroin in his pants.
"One officer reported that he spoke with the female, and she was up front about her involvement — she was up there to buy heroin," Fitzpatrick said.
Mota was scheduled to be arraigned at Lawrence District Court on Friday afternoon, but the woman's name has not been released.
Fitzpatrick estimated the street value of 207 grams of heroin at $8,000, and said that possession of any amount of heroin over 18 grams leads to a charge of trafficking. He said the severity of the charge increases with the amount, but anything over 200 grams entails the most severe charge, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years in prison.
Fitzpatrick also emphasized that the drugs in this arrest still had not been weighed officially at the State Crime Lab.