For Immediate Release: 3/25/2017 0:10 am
Worcester, MA (March 25, 2017) - On Friday, March 24, 2017 members of the WPD Vice Squad were in possession of a search warrant for 22 Frank Street. The target of the search warrant was Craig Strickland, 57-years-old of the same address.
On this day vice officers set up surveillance positions near the Frank Street home. During the surveillance officers observed Mr. Strickland and another male, later identified as Daniel Reddy, 43-years-old of 78 Sonya Drive, Marlboro, enter a Ford Taurus and drive off. At this time other undercover officers positioned nearby followed the vehicle. The officers followed the vehicle to Belmont Street. The suspect vehicle was seen picking up a person, later identified as Brian Gernrich, 48-years-old of 7 Duncan Avenue, Auburn. The vehicle traveled a short distance and dropped Mr. Gernrich off on Alvarado Street.
Vice officers, believing that they just observed a drug transaction take place, encountered Mr. Gernwich and asked him to speak with them. Mr. Gernwich was startled when he observed the officers approach him. Officers observed Mr. Gernwich place an item in his mouth and began to quickly walk away. Mr. Gernwich was placed under arrest by force due to his resistance. Mr. Gernwich was charged with Resisting Arrest and Misleading an Investigation (the item that he placed in his mouth was swallowed as officers approached him). Mr. Gernwich also had several outstanding arrest warrants in effect. The warrants were for narcotic offenses, Larcenies and Shoplifting.
After meeting with Mr. Gernwich, Mr. Strickland and Mr. Reddy arrive back home at 22 Frank Street. After a while the two men were once again seen exiting the home and enter the Ford. The vehicle drove off heading towards Belmont Street. Vice officers followed the Ford. The suspect vehicle drove into the Piccadilly Plaza Parking lot. Shortly after their arrival a second Ford Taurus pulled up next to the suspect vehicle. Officers observed Mr. Reddy exit the vehicle and walk towards the driver’s door of the second Taurus. Officers observed a quick hand to hand exchange. Mr. Reddy went back towards the suspect vehicle and drove off while the second Taurus drove across the street and into the McDonalds parking lot.
Officers approached the second Taurus and encountered a 33-year-old male. The male was in possession of heroin. The drugs were confiscated and the male will be charged and summonsed into court to face a charge of Possession of Class A Substance.
Mr. Strickland and Mr. Reddy arrived back at 22 Frank Street.
Once again Mr. Reddy was seen exiting the Frank Street home and drive off in the Taurus. This time Mr. Reddy was alone. Undercover officers activated their emergency lights and signaled the vehicle to stop. Mr. Reddy was placed under arrest without incident. He was charged with Distribution of Class A Substance and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.
At approximately 12:30 PM, officers observed a dark colored vehicle drive up to the Frank Street home. The vehicle was occupied by two men later identified as Steven Jacques, 52-years-old of 27 Chrome Street, Worcester and Steven Burritt, 63-years-old of 93 Pleasant Street, Worcester. Officers observed Mr. Strickland exit his home, approach the dark colored vehicle and conduct a quick hand to hand transaction.
After the transaction the dark colored vehicle drove off heading towards Wigwam Street. The vehicle was followed by the officers. The vehicle stopped on Coburn Avenue. At this time one officer positioned his unmarked cruiser in front of the dark colored vehicle while the second officer pulled up behind in his unmarked cruiser. Both officers exited their vehicles with their badges prominently displayed. Upon seeing the officers, the driver, Steven Jacques, immediately put the car in reverse and drove backwards towards the officer and his cruiser. The officer, fearing for his safety, displayed his duty weapon and ordered him to stop the vehicle. Mr. Jacques complied. Mr. Jacques was placed under arrest and charged with Knowingly Being present where Heroin is Kept. Mr. Burritt was placed under arrest and charged with Possession of Class A Substance.
At time the officers decided to execute the search warrant. Officers knew Mr. Strickland was in the home. Officers knocked on the door and announced their presence. No one came to the door. Forced entry was made via the front door. Mr. Strickland and another male were located in the living room while a female was discovered on the second floor. The search produced a couple of rocks of crack cocaine and $154.00 in cash. A search of Mr. Strickland produced $2,002.00 in cash.
Mr. Strickland was placed under arrest and charged with Possession of Class A Substance with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Class A Substance, 2 counts of Distribution of Class A Substance and Possession of Class B Substance.
The male and female in the house were not charged.
All five men will be arraigned on Monday, March 27, 2017 at the Worcester County District Courthouse.