It was the teamwork of several small-town police departments that led to 23 arrests in a countywide drug sweep yesterday.
Sixty officers, divided into 10 teams, raided 16 locations throughout Rockingham County, according to County Attorney James Reams.
Police from Plaistow, Salem, Kingston and Danville joined officers from Raymond and Epping — all members of the new Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force — to make it happen, Reams said. Also leading the effort were the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
Suspects from five local towns were among those nabbed, but most of the arrests were in Raymond and Epping. Those arrested and the charges were: Simon Ackerman, 21, Hampstead, sale of Oxandrolone; Aliza Kenny, 20, Danville, two counts of selling marijuana; Jennifer Morin, 31, Methuen, sale of Oxycodone; Gregory Pacheco, 28, Plaistow, possession of marijuana; and Frank Powers, Salem, sale of Oxycodone.
The officers began about 5:30 a.m. and wrapped up their mission by early afternoon, nabbing all but one suspect and confiscating nine types of drugs and also weapons.
“This sweep today put a dent in illegal drug sales in Rockingham County,” Reams said. “We spent a lot of time in the last few months pulling this together. The arrests went off almost without a hitch.”
Authorities arrested 23 of the 24 people targeted. Dixie Bregy, 31, of Manchester, remained at large.
Reams and other authorities, including Rockingham County Sheriff Michael Downing, praised the officers’ efforts at a press conference yesterday afternoon.
The drug task force was launched a year ago, Downing said. Small police departments such as Kingston and Plaistow can only a contribute a single officer to the force and must cover the cost. But it’s made a big difference, he said.
“It’s effective, it’s working and it will continue to work,” Downing said.
None of the suspects were from Kingston, but one of police Chief Donald Briggs’ officers participated in the sweep. The officers’ names are kept confidential to protect their identities. “He’s very active and very involved,” Briggs said.
So is the single officer from Plaistow, police Chief Stephen Savage said. “We had two targets in Plaistow and one in Danville,” he said. “We will go where we have to go.”
The sweep primarily focused on suspects in Raymond and Epping, where 17 of those arrested were from.
“We began this investigation in Raymond and it spread from there because the sale of drugs and use of drugs does not follow town boundaries,” Reams said.
The drugs seized included heroin, marijuana and steroids, but mainly the prescription drug Oxycodone, Reams said. Seventeen of the 32 indictments involved Oxycodone.
“Prescription pills are becoming a bigger and bigger problem in New Hampshire,” he said. No bath salts were seized, Reams said.
Most of the suspects were to be arraigned in Rockingham Superior Court yesterday afternoon.
Taking drugs off the streets also helps reduce other crime, such as theft and burglaries, Raymond police Chief David Salois said.
Also arrested were: Sarah Castine, 18, Epping; James Castine, 19, Epping; Mark Farrell, 27, Raymond; Andrew Howard, 23, Raymond; Keith Kapustin, 37, Raymond; James Levesque, 25, Raymond; Jennifer Landry, 40, Portsmouth; Jonathan Murphy, 23, Raymond; Samantha Norton, 27, Raymond; Billy-Jo Miller, 18, Raymond; Joshua Marion, 21, Raymond; Rebecca Norton, 25, Raymond; Sharon Norton, Raymond (no age given); Harvey Page, 58, Raymond; Michael Page, 21, Raymond; Charlie Philbrick, 28, Raymond; Tyler Sadler, 18, Epping; Thomas Wallace, 23, of 44 Barberry Lane, Raymond.
NH towns team up to stop drug sales – Eagle-Tribune