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Salem detectives arrest 3; stop drug deal about to go bad

SALEM - Police say a drug deal about to go bad was stopped by plainclothes detectives who, after a brief standoff with an armed man in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot, arrested him and two other people.

Police said the incident happened about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday at the doughnut shop on Route 38.

The detectives observed what appeared to be a hand-to-hand drug transaction in a motor vehicle parked in the lot. As officers approached the vehicle to speak with the occupants, one of the detectives said he noticed the driver had a handgun hidden beneath his right leg.

After what police called a "brief tense standoff," the occupants were removed from the vehicle without further incident. Detectives confiscated the gun, which police said was loaded and easily accessible.

Arrested were Bruce Kater, 54, of Salem, charged with possession of a controlled drug, two counts, and felonious use of a firearm; Mark Nagle, 45, of Haverhill, Mass., possession of a controlled drug, and Marie Laspesa, 46, also of Haverhill, possession of a controlled drug.


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