State Police Troopers and federal agents assigned to a regional gang task
force, along with Lawrence Police, yesterday arrested a suspected drug
trafficker after they found him hiding in a bedroom in a Lawrence apartment
When troopers and agents observed
HECTOR RIVERA, 39, he was hiding his right hand behind a door. Concerned for
their safety, the troopers and agents, assigned to the North Shore Gang Task
Force took measures to secure the suspect through the threshold of the door and
detained him after a brief struggle. Afterward they discovered a large sheathed
kitchen knife on the floor behind the door, where RIVERA had been hiding his
Task force officers went to the
apartment 237 Jackson St. after learning that RIVERA, whom they were seeking to
speak to regarding a previous drug trafficking investigation, was there. They
were given consent to enter the apartment, where RIVERA was an unwanted guest.
After discovering the knife and detaining RIVERA, an MSP sergeant conducted a
pat frisk and found, concealed in pockets in the suspect’s pants, plastic
baggies containing fentanyl and cocaine. The sergeant then located, in the
suspect’s sweatshirt pocket, a sock containing multiple baggies of suspected
In total, police discovered RIVERA
to be in possession of approximately 50 grams of suspected fentanyl,
approximately half a gram of suspected cocaine, and another twist of an unknown
brown substance. Task force officers then placed RIVERA under arrest and transported
him to the Lawrence Police Department for booking. Prior to his being
transported, RIVERA, speaking in Spanish, asked another person at the scene to
“take care of my stuff for me,” a statement heard by a Lawrence Police
detective who speaks Spanish.
Based on observations made at the
scene, task force officers and members of the Lawrence Police narcotics unit
obtained and executed a search warrant of the bedroom. There they discovered
additional baggies containing suspected fentanyl, another of suspected cocaine,
cell phones, and $604 cash. Also located in the bedroom and documented was the
sheathed kitchen knife and a machete.
As a result of the initial arrest
and subsequent warrant, a total of approximately 311 grams of fentanyl was
seized. RIVERA was charged with trafficking in fentanyl over 10 grams;
possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and a default warrant from
Dorchester District Court.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is many times more powerful than heroin.
The North Shore Gang Task Force is a partnership between the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit, Lawrence Police and other local officers, and federal agents that works on the front lines of the battle against gang violence and drug trafficking.
As always the Lawrence Police
will continue to partner with other local, state and federal agencies to take
dangerous individuals off the street.
Please credit photo to
Massachusetts State Police