Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

March 6, 2014

Fighting back against heroin

Town joins regional effort in combating drug calls

Heroin activity has spiked in Andover, leading the town’s police force to join regional efforts to combat the problem.

Since Dec. 1, local police have answered calls for around a half-dozen heroin overdoses, according to police Commander Charles Heseltine.

Meanwhile, police logs routinely reflect drug-related arrests, several listing class A drug charges — a category that includes heroin.

The incidents include:

On Dec. 10, two teenage boys walked into CVS in downtown Andover to purchase Narcan, a drug carried by some emergency responders to avert a drug overdose. The drug is not available retail. After 911 was called, one of the two boys was rushed to the hospital after police learned he was overdosing.

On Feb. 7, police were called to Old South Lane on a report of an 18-year-old overdosing.

On Feb. 8, an 18- and a 19-year-old boy were arrested elsewhere on Old South Lane — one for possessing a class A drug, the other for possessing class A with intent to distribute it.

Though the calls were around 30 hours apart, the two Old South Lane cases were completely unrelated, according to Heseltine.

On Feb. 20, substance abuse detectives driving on River Road stumbled on a suspicious car at a gas station. Inside, they saw two people in the process of preparing heroin for injection, according to Heseltine. Three were arrested — two for possession of heroin, and a third for being knowingly present where heroin was kept.

Police are also being vigilant in drug trade in town, tracking down and arresting suspected dealers who they believe are pushing a large volume of narcotics to the street.

On Feb. 21, after a month-long investigation, detectives moved in on a home on the far western end of Lowell Street.

Inside the home, they found a half-kilo of heroin worth $45,000, a quarter-kilo of cocaine worth $14,000 and 30 milligrams of Percocet worth around $900.

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