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Tip from informant led police to Kingston man charged in drug case

By JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent

July 09. 2012 8:44PM
SCOTT BETTANO 


BRENTWOOD - A Kingston man arrested last month on charges that he was selling at least 15 pounds of medical marijuana shipped from California drew the attention of investigators from a tip by an informant and the frequency of cars coming and going from the suspect's home, according to a police affidavit.

Scott Bettano, 37, is waiting for his case to be heard by a grand jury in Rockingham County Superior Court while he is free on bail, charged with two felony drug charges.

An affidavit detailing the investigation into Bettano recently became public.

Investigators say a tip from a confidential informant and complaints by neighbors are what drew them to Bettano's doorstep at 23 Sunshine Drive in Kingston. Bettano is now living in Methuen, Mass., free on $20,000 bail while his case is pending in court.

The Rockingham County Sheriff's Department Drug Task Force put Bettano under surveillance shortly after receiving the tip on Feb. 29 about his alleged drug sales. They learned he was using a postal service to receive marijuana from California, the affidavit says.

With help from the DEA, investigators also collected some of Bettano's trash between March 14 and April 25 to search for evidence.

'During those trash collection days, a number of large plastic bags were found and had a strong odor of marijuana,' Deputy Sgt. Jay Murphy said in a sworn affidavit.

Several of the bags had marijuana residue in them, and a narcotics dog detected the odor of the drugs on the packages, Murphy said.

During the surveillance between February and May, officers also noticed vehicles pulling up to Bettano's home 'for a very short period of time,' and then leaving, according to Murphy.

'On several occasions, those individuals were seen carrying items as they exited Bettano's residence,' Murphy said in the affidavit.

While watching the house, investigators also arrested Gregory Pacheco, 27, of Plaistow on drug possession charges, the affidavit says.

Shortly after that arrest, investigators searched Bettano's home with his permission.

Approximately 14 pounds of marijuana was found in a green duffel bag in the basement, the affidavit said. A scale, vacuum seal bags and other equipment was seized during the search. Another pound of marijuana was seized during the investigation, investigators said.

'While at the residence, Bettano was cooperative while speaking with detectives and advised he was selling marijuana,' Murphy said in the affidavit.

Investigators believed the seized pot is worth about $40,000.

Bettano is charged with sale of controlled/narcotic drugs and possession of a controlled drug with intent to sell.

The bags were all packaged in the same manner and identified the marijuana as a product grown in what's known as the Emerald Triangle in California - made up of Trinity, Mendocino and Humboldt counties. It's known as the largest region in the U.S. that grows marijuana legally.

jkimble@newstote.com


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