SALISBURY, Mass. — A couple believed to be major suppliers of heroin in this coastal town northeast of Boston were arraigned Friday on multiple charges, bringing to a climax a four-month investigation that involved surveillance and controlled drug buys.
The Newburyport (Mass.) Daily News reports Jason E. Wiles, 37, and Michele Savage, 28, with a last known address of 31 Kendall Lane, Salisbury, each face a variety of drug-related charges, including possession and intent to distribute heroin, methadone and oxycodone, among other drugs, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
According to Salisbury police Detective Keith Forget, he and officer Richard Dellaria began investigating the couple on Jan. 6 after being contacted and told that Wiles was selling heroin from his red 2001 Ford F-150 pickup truck. That same day, Forget and Dellaria arrested Wiles on a New Hampshire warrant for selling heroin.
Wiles was soon released, but Forget continued to receive reports concerning Wiles and Savage selling heroin from Wiles’ truck.
Police from Salisbury, Amesbury, and Seabrook then watched Wiles and Savage over a three-month period, observing them make several alleged heroin sales in parking lots of local restaurants and convenience stores.
According to Forget’s report, by March he’d been contacted by sources who told him Wiles was the “most popular known heroin dealer in town.” Estimated to have 30 customers or more, Wiles, Forget wrote, Wiles allegedly make daily trips to Lawrence to pick up large quantities of heroin — known as “fingers,” or compressed 7- to 10-gram amounts — which he sold daily. Forget wrote that Wiles would often conceal the heroin he delivered in cigarette packs.
After witnessing Wiles allegedly selling drugs from his pickup, with Savage driving, police set up three controlled buys during March and April, each time using confidential informants who allegedly purchased heroin using $60 of marked money provided by Salisbury police.
On April 15, Forget learned Wiles and Savage were both arrested in Lawrence, charged with possession of heroin and cocaine. According to the Lawrence police report, Forget wrote, the couple was in a high drug activity area of Lawrence, where officers from that city’s police department saw what they believe was a narcotics transaction between Wiles and a man on foot.
”Wiles and Savage drove away from the area and were subsequently stopped by Lawrence police,” Forget wrote. “The officers reported that Wiles was throwing heroin out the window of the truck and then resisted arrest.The couple were both bailed, released and returned to Salisbury.”
After Salisbury police orchestrated their third controlled heroin buy between Wiles and Savage and a confidential informant on Thursday, April 23, they arrested the couple and took them into custody.
”This was an excellent example of a successful multi-agency, thorough investigation to rid our communities of dangerous drug dealers.” said Salisbury Police Chief Thomas Fowler. “The success of this investigation was due to the working partnerships and common mission of the area police departments, and I thank them for their assistance.”
The Newburyport (Mass.) Daily News contributed to this story.