Reports: Meth from driving school worth $130K

Michael Larocque, 56, of Lawrence

Investigators seized methamphetamines with a $130,000 street value after executing search warrants at the North Andover Auto School and the Lawrence home of the school's owner, Michael Larocque, according to court papers. 

Larocque, 56, was described by investigators as "a large scale methamphetamine distributor." 

He is charged with two counts of trafficking methamphetamine over 200 grams and was held on $250,000 cash following his arraignment Monday in Lawrence District Court. 

If convicted of the charges, he faces a mandatory minimum of 12 years in state prison, Judge Michael Uhlarik wrote in a bail document. 

Larocque was arrested after a lengthy investigation that involved local, state and federal authorities. 

Over the past two months, investigators made "controlled purchases" of methamphetamines from Larocque at both his 69 Colonial Road home in Lawrence and at the driving school in North Andover at 203 Turnpike St., unit 404, according to a report filed by Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Mace. 

Investigators applied and executed search warrants for Larocque's home and the school. 

The auto school's primary classroom location is located in North Andover. But auto school instructors also teach at Greater Lawrence Technical School in Andover and North Andover High School, according to the school's website.

 

Friday morning, using the ruse of being a utility worker, an investigator knocked the door of Larocque's home. After Larocque stepped outside to speak to him, a variety of troopers, officers and agents then descended on the home, Mace wrote in his arrest report. 

Larocque was handcuffed and read his Miranda rights as his home was searched. About 1,100 grams of methamphetamine, glass vials containing an unknown liquid, and packaging materials were taken from the home, Mace wrote. 

During a search of Larocque's vehicle, a 2019 Nissan Rogue, "officers located an additional bag containing approximately 80 grams of methamphetamine packaged for distribution as well an electronic scale," according to Mace. 

The vehicle was also seized pending forfeiture, according to reports. 

While he is considered a major methamphetamine distributor, investigators' reports do not indicate who he is accused of sellting the narcotics to other than the controlled buys which were monitored by police. 

At this arraignment Monday, Larocque was also ordered to surrender his passport and to remain free of drugs and alcohol. 

Investigators left his home and then searched the auto school office and classroom. Another 400 grams of methamphetamine were found in a filing cabinet, along with unknown pills, a scale, packaging material for distribution, bank statements and $12,000 cash, according to the report. 

Larocque was booked at the state police barracks in Newbury and initially held on $1 million bail pending his arraignment. 

He is due back in court on Oct. 19. 

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill. 

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