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Five Suspects Arrested in WPD Drug Investigation

For Immediate Release: 3/5/2013 10:05 pm

Worcester, MA (March 5, 2013) - On Monday, March 4, 2013 members of the Worcester Police Vice Squad had compiled information that street level drug dealing was being conducted out of a particular Toyota Avalon involving a female and two males.

On this day the undercover officers came in contact with this vehicle and began to follow it throughout the city. At one point the officers were following the vehicle down Montrose Street from Vernon Street. While on Montrose Street, the officers observed a female exit the passenger seat of a parked Nissan Altima and enter the Toyota. The female appeared to look in all directions before entering the suspect vehicle. Both vehicles continued approximately 100 yards before they both stopped in the middle of the road. The female exited the Toyota, looked into her hand and then re-entered the Nissan.

Officers observing these actions realized that they had just witnessed a street level drug transaction take place. The officers split their surveillance, some following the Altima while the others following the Toyota. The Altima was stopped by the officers on Plantation Street by the off ramp of Route 290. The officers approached the vehicle and observed numerous hypodermic needles inside the vehicle in plain view. A single knotted bag of heroin was eventually discovered on a male occupant of the Nissan. The male and female occupant of the Nissan were placed under arrest. As a result of this finding the other set of officers stopped the Toyota on Grafton Street by Mendon Street.

The officers approached the Toyota and subsequently discovered 6 half gram bags of heroin, cell phones and $625.00 in cash. The two males and one female occupant were placed under arrest.

The officers obtained a search warrant for 476 Park Avenue, Apartment 1L. This apartment is the residence of one of the suspects. As a result of this search, 19 knotted bags of powdered cocaine, 13 knotted bags of heroin, 6 Percocet pills, packaging materials, cutting agents, digital scales and numerous other narcotic paraphernalia were discovered therein.

The Toyota occupants were Jeffry Cruz, Luis Franco and Crystal Batista. Mr. Cruz, 23-years-old of 476 Park Avenue, Apartment 1L, was charged with Possession of Class A with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Class A (second or subsequent offense), Possession to Distribute Cocaine and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws. Mr. Franco, 26-years-old of 12 Hartshorne Avenue and Ms. Batista, 20-years-old of 28 E. Plats Street, Lawrence, MA, were both charged with Possession of Class A with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Class A Substance and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.

The occupants of the Nissan were Matthew Taft and Danielle Thurlow. Ms. Thurlow and Mr. Taft were both charged with Possession of Class A Substance, Knowingly Being Present Where Heroin is Kept and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.

All five suspects were transported to police headquarters and processed. The five were then released on personal recognizance. The suspects were arraigned today at the Worcester County District Courthouse.

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