Archives For Drugs


Elderly residents evacuated from Hudson apartment complex

MetroWest Daily News

HUDSON, Mass. — Over 100 elderly residents were evacuated from their apartments and two people were arrested as the result of a hazardous materials  incident involving a meth lab in Hudson Sunday night.

The Massachusetts state police bomb squad was called to the Peter’s Grove complex at 11 Lake Street.   The incident was confined to one unit of the large apartment complex, the State Fire Marshal’s office said.

More than Meth: The faces of drug arrests

Hudson police said Ronald Royse, 46, and Joanna Miles, 44, were arrested after trying to cook meth in one of the units.

Elderly residents of the low-income complex could be seen sitting in wheel chairs outside their apartments.

One resident said that she was told she would not be able to get back into her residence until Monday morning.

Because of the large number of elderly residents, Council on Aging vans were called to assist in the evacuation.

Royse and Miles will be charged with possession and manufacturing, police said.


Driver tried to run, police say

Mass. State Police

CANTON, Mass. — A routine traffic stop led to the seizure of four kilos of cocaine on Interstate 93 in Canton Saturday morning, Massachusetts state police said.

A Nissan Quest driven by Hector Rivera Martinez, 40, of Milwaukee, was stopped by police for motor vehicle violations.

More than Meth: The faces of drug arrests

When a trooper with a K-9 was called to the scene, Martinez jumped over the guardrail and down a steep, rocky embankment, police said.

Martinez was taken into custody a short time later and a search of the van found four kilos of cocaine, police said.

Martinez was charged with drug trafficking and is being held on $200,000 bail.


Gov. Patrick issued order banning doctors from prescribing, dispensing drug

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick defended the state’s first-in-the-nation ban of the powerful new painkiller Zohydro after a federal judge suggested in court that his administration may have overreached.

“I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think I had a legal footing to do it,” Patrick said at an unrelated event at the Statehouse. “More to the point, I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think we had a real emergency, and we have a real emergency.”

Patrick issued an executive order banning local doctors from prescribing or dispensing Zohydro on March 27, amid concerns that the drug’s availability might exacerbate the state’s prescription drug abuse epidemic.

But Zogenix, the San Diego-based maker of the drug, filed a federal lawsuit on Monday arguing that the ban was unconstitutional because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already approved its use for treatment of severe and chronic pain.

U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel, considering the lawsuit Tuesday, suggested Zogenix’s arguments might have merit.

“I don’t have all the facts,” she said after hearing briefly from both sides. “At the moment, I think the governor is out of line on this. The Federal Drug Administration has examined this issue, has dealt with all the objections to it and is a federal entity.”

Zobel said she will hear more detailed arguments Monday, after which she expects to render a decision on Zogenix’s request for an immediate but temporary halt to the ban. The court would decide at a later date whether or not the ban should be permanently vacated.

Heather Gray, a legislative attorney with the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, says the Massachusetts ban is unique: it might be the first time a state has attempted to block distribution of a FDA-approved drug.

Vermont, which is also grappling with a prescription drug abuse epidemic, stopped short of an outright ban on Zohydro; Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration opted instead to release stricter guidelines for issuing prescriptions.

Patrick on Tuesday suggested that if the drug became available in a tamper-resistant, non-crushable form, Massachusetts might consider lifting the ban and approving tighter restrictions instead. Zohydro is “an example of highly addictive narcotic painkillers and it’s one of the few that is not in an abuse-resistant form,” Patrick said. “Put it in an abuse-resistant form, and I and many others will make our peace with it.”

Zohydro is an extended-release capsule that contains up to five times the amount of narcotic hydrocodone previously available in pills. The company says the drug, which went to market in March, is an important painkilling option because it does not contain acetaminophen, which has the potential to cause liver damage if given in high doses over long periods of time.

But some health authorities say the drug can be easily crushed and then snorted or injected, creating an immediate and potentially lethal high. Zogenix officials say at least four prescriptions for Zohydro were issued in Massachusetts, but were never filled because of the ban.


Man says marijuana is not his

Douglas Glidden

LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine — A Maine man pulled over by police insisted that the marijuana officers found in the car he was driving was not his.

His excuse? He’d stolen the car.

Police tell the Sun Journal that 25-year-old Douglas Glidden, of Jay, Maine, was stopped late Sunday night by police responding to reports of a disturbance.

Livermore Falls Chief Ernest Steward Jr. says when police found the marijuana, Glidden told them he had just stolen the car and the marijuana wasn’t his. Police confirmed the car had been reported stolen.

Glidden is facing several charges including operating under the influence and theft by unauthorized taking or transfer – and yes, a civil violation of possession of a useable amount of marijuana.

It could not be determined if he had a lawyer.


Gov. Patrick declared public health emergency

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick has declared a public health emergency in Massachusetts with a sharp increase in heroin overdoses and opioid addiction. Numerous states are reporting a rise in heroin use as many addicts shift from more costly and harder-to-get prescription opiates to this cheaper alternative. A look at what’s happening in Massachusetts:

THE PROBLEM:

Heroin overdoses are on the rise in Massachusetts, fueled by its relatively cheap price and high potency. Police suspect some heroin has been laced with the prescription painkiller fentanyl, making it especially dangerous.

View: 25 facts about heroin

THE NUMBERS:

State police say 185 people died from suspected heroin overdoses in Massachusetts from November through Feb. 26, a figure that does not include overdose deaths in the state’s three largest cities. The number of all opioid-related deaths, which includes heroin, OxyContin and other prescription pain relievers, increased from 363 in 2000 to 642 in 2011, the most recent year for which statewide figures were available.

THE RESPONSE:

Patrick’s emergency order, announced March 27, will allow first responders to carry the overdose drug Narcan and make the antidote more accessible by prescription to family and friends of people battling addiction. Massachusetts health officials say the state’s Narcan nasal spray distribution program has stopped more than 2,000 overdoses since 2007. The governor said his administration will dedicate an additional $20 million for addiction and recovery services. State lawmakers passed a 911 Good Samaritan law in 2012 to provide limited immunity from arrest or prosecution for minor drug law violations for people who call for medical help for themselves or others who have overdosed.


Police warn there may be more victims

Raymond Black

Raymond Black

DERRY, N.H. — A man in Derry has been arrested and accused of sexually assaulting two middle-school girls, and police said they believe there may be more victims.

Derry police said Raymond Black, 60, is accused of drugging the girls, supplying them with alcohol and paying them for sexual acts.

“He’s accused of sexually assaulting the juveniles, perpetrating assaults against them and having them do things to him,” said Capt. Vern Thomas.

Police said the assaults happened over the summer. The girls are 12 and 13 years old and live in Black’s neighborhood, police said.

“I don’t think we can say they did anything willingly,” Thomas said. “They are not of age of consent to do something like that anyway, and he’s being held accountable.”

After a lengthy investigation, police issued an arrest warrant, and Black turned himself in Thursday. He’s facing eight charges related to sexual assault.

“I would hope that if there are parents out there who know their children were around this individual, they would contact us,” Thomas said.

News 9 talked with several of Black’s neighbors. None wanted to go on camera but did say they heard rumors there had been illegal activity going on for sometime.

Black is being held on $25,000 cash bail at the Rockingham County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned next week.


Manufacturer of Zohydro criticizes the ban

Pills, medication

BOSTON — Massachusetts health regulators have sent a letter to doctors and other health care providers outlining the decision to ban the prescribing and dispensing of the painkiller Zohydro.

The Public Health Council approved the ban last week after Gov. Deval Patrick declared a public health emergency in response to the state’s growing epidemic of heroin overdoses and opioid addiction.

Zohydro is a single-ingredient hydrocodone drug recently approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Patrick said he fears the pill could add to Massachusetts’ spike in overdose deaths.

The letter dated March 31 explains that doctors cannot write Zohydro prescriptions to be filled in other states and cannot order the drug for patients in hospitals or extended care facilities.

San Diego-based Zogenix, which makes Zohydro, has criticized the ban, saying it will add to patient suffering.


20 companies to undergo more scrutiny

Lawmaker Cart is before horse on medical marijuana

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Public Health Department said it will deeply scrutinize companies given provisional approval to run medical marijuana dispensaries.

The department notified companies approved for 20 provisional licenses that they will be subjected to extensive additional background checks on anyone “who will have any involvement” with the proposed dispensaries, including volunteers, consultants, advisory board members, staff members, and all corporate and individual investors.

Previously, the agency had said it would review only those who contributed 5 percent or more toward the operations, as well as the board of directors and members of the executive management team and corporation.

News of the background checks was contained in a letter dated March 14 and obtained by The Boston Globe.

“These follow-up background checks are only one part of the ongoing verification process,” the letters said. The agency refused additional comment.

The agency on Thursday sent similar letters to six companies that were not chosen for provisional licenses but were invited by the state to reapply in one of the counties that has not yet been earmarked for a dispensary.

Companies are being charged $550 per individual checked, according to the letters. That’s in addition to the $30,000 charged for the application fee.

The selection process has come under intense scrutiny and three rejected companies have filed lawsuits.

Most dispensaries were expected to be running by August, but it’s unclear if the additional background checks will delay any openings.


3 people seriously injured in Astle Street blast 

TEWKSBURY, Mass. — A house explosion that injured three people in Tewksbury on Tuesday night has been blamed on a drug operation involving marijuana and butane.

An 18-year-old woman and two men, ages 20 and 21, were inside the multi-family home at 22 Astle St. Tuesday night when the building exploded and caught on fire.

Fire officials confirmed Wednesday that someone in the home was trying to extract THC from marijuana when an ignition source came in contact with vapors, causing the explosion.

“The buildup of butane vapors within the apartment came in contact with an ignition source and an explosion ensued,” Tewksbury Fire Chief Michael Hazel said. “The process was being performed on and around an electric stove within the apartment. A number of full and empty and butane cylinders were found at the scene. This was a very dangerous situation for the residents and the firefighters.”

All three victims suffered serious injuries.

“There are burns about the face, head, arms and hands,” Tewksbury Police Chief Timothy Sheehan said.

Police are investigating reports that two people were seen running from the home after the explosion.

The home has natural gas service, but investigators have ruled it out, saying it was not the cause of the fire.

“There’s going to be no one going back in the dwelling afterward. All the windows are blown off the frame, and the roof collapsed. The fire spread to the attic of the residence,” Sheehan said.

Six people, including the three victims, were displaced.


Chase began in Fall River, ended in East Providence

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A police chase that began in Fall River, Mass., ended in Rhode Island when the suspects’ car crashed into a utility pole.

Police say Massachusetts state troopers began pursuing the car in Fall River on Monday night, and officers from Rehoboth and Seekonk in Massachusetts picked up the pursuit. Officers followed the car into East Providence, R.I., where it crashed just after 11 p.m.

Two people in the car have been released from a hospital after being treated for minor injuries.

East Providence police told The Providence Journal that they arrested the driver, Troy Llewellyn of Fall River, during a foot chase after the crash. He faces numerous charges including possession with intent to deliver narcotics and resisting arrest.

It’s not clear if Llewellyn has a lawyer.

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