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Police arrest 30, call them street-level heroin dealers

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 20. 2014 8:55PM
Top row, left to right: Nicole Capodanno, David Sweeney, Ramon Hernandez, Joseph Barlow, Mario Ozuna, Brenda Daoust. Middle row, left to right: Coty Bourke, Kevin Potvin, Benjamin Hesselink, Michelle Shuman, Samantha Azotea, Sandra Debrito, Robert Shatney. Bottom row, left to right: Andrew Emanuel, Tabitha Smith, Charles Bakas, Fritz Lemite (Lemire), Mark Sweet, Adam Gaw. (Courtesy Manchester Police)

MANCHESTER — Police said they expect to see a significant but short-lived dent in the city narcotics trade, after some 30 people were arrested Wednesday and Thursday — nearly all of them described as street-level dealers of heroin.

Police Chief David Mara announced the arrests along with representatives of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Hills­borough County law enforcement agencies. Two people were arrested Wednesday when police raided the third-floor apartment at 421 Hevey St. A follow-up arrest took place Wednesday, and then at least 27 were taken into custody starting at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Thursday's effort, Operation Clean Sweep, involved eight separate arrest teams with a list of 34 names.

During a news conference, Mara said police are invigorating an effort to target street-level dealers who are often users themselves.

"We are attacking the most visible part of the drug problem," Mara said. He said the effort involved street-level dealers because drug addiction is the root of most of the thefts, robberies and burglaries in the city.

David Sweeney, 37, and Nicole Capodanno were arrested at the Hevey Street apartment. Both live at the address and were charged with possession of a controlled drug and possession of a controlled drug with the intent to distribute.

Police said they confiscated 51 grams of heroin, 22 methadone tablets, 10 lorazepam doses and almost $5,000 in cash.

Subsequently, police arrested Jonathan Surette, 33, of 64 Laval St., and charged him with possession of seven grams of heroin.

The 27 people arrested in Operation Clean Sweep were all charged with possession with the intent to distribute a controlled drug. Mara said most sold drugs to either undercover police or confidential informants, either on the street or in residences.

Most sales involved heroin, but cocaine, crack cocaine and prescription drugs were also part of the buys. Police said another three were expected to turn themselves in. As of Thursday afternoon, police were still looking for four, and they said several names would be withheld.

Police disclosed the following names:

• Ashley Monty, 23, of 628 North Road, Candia.

• Angela Lagrant, 40, of 547 Silver St.

• Timothy Miller, 36, of 7 Ash St.

• Kevin Potvin, 28, of 32 Bath St., second floor.

• Samantha Azotea, 23, 32 Bath St., second floor.

• Benjamin Hesselink, 25, of 14 Maple St., Nashua.

• Fritz Lemite (Lemire), 36, 208 Lowell St.

• Tabitha Smith, 25, 226 Karatzas Ave.

• Andrew Emanuel, 34, 664 Grove St.

• Ramon Hernandez, 40, 478 Beech St.

• Robert Shatney, 48, 231 Thornton St., third floor

• Brenda Daoust, 46, 246 East High St.

• Sandra Debrito, 39, 886 Valley St.

• Mario Ozuna, 48, 119 Beech Hill Drive.

• Michelle Shuman, 41, 163 South Beech St.

• Joseph Barlow, 32, New Hampshire State Prison.

• Jessica Caron, age unknown, Valley Street Jail.

• Coty Bourke, 22, 43 Walnut St.

• Charles Bakas, 59, 9 L Phillip Road, Derry.

• Adam Gaw, 33, 117 Wheelock St.

• Kevin Andre, age and address unknown.

Mark Sweet, 28, 309 Goffstown Road, was arrested on a theft charge, police said.

"These are the people that are right out there on the streets," Mara said. Police said they confiscated nearly 60 grams of heroin on Wednesday and valued it at $6,000. Mara said the effort should have a short-term effect on the availability of heroin in the city.

"But there are always other people to fill that void," Mara said. Mara said many of the dealers are users themselves, and he'd like to see more money devoted to addiction treatment.

"We cannot arrest away crime. We cannot arrest away this drug problem," he said.

All the drug charges involved are Class A felonies.

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