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Tip leads to arrest of alleged carfentanil dealer at Manchester hotel


May 05. 2017 4:22PM

Preston Thorpe, 24, who was the subject of a nationwide manhunt, was arrested about 1 p.m. at the Best Western Hotel, 13500 South Willow St., police said. 



MANCHESTER — The California native wanted for his role in alleged sales of the powerful opioid carfentanil was arrested Friday afternoon at a South Willow Street hotel, police said.

Preston Thorpe, 24, who was the subject of a nationwide manhunt, was arrested about 1 p.m. at the Best Western Hotel, 13500 South Willow St., police said.

An anonymous caller provided information about his location and Thorpe was arrested without incident.

He is charged with possession of carfentanil, based on arrest warrants issued last week. He is also charged with a parole violation and will likely appear in Manchester Circuit Court on Monday.

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard thanked law enforcement agencies both near and far, as well as the media, for help in the search for Thorpe.

“I can’t say enough about the phenomenal work that was done in this matter by both Manchester police detectives and our DEA partners as well,” Deputy Police Chief Carlo Capano said. “It’s just a pleasure that it all worked out this way.”’

Asked if Thorpe had remained local in the week since he was on the run, Capano said, “I don’t have that information.”

Carfentanil is a drug that claimed the lives of three men in New Hampshire in March, the first carfentanil deaths confirmed in the state and in all of New England. Two of the deaths were in Manchester while the other was in Meredith.

Authorities believe carfentanil could be responsible for a spike in overdose calls in Manchester in the past two weeks. Fire officials said they responded to more than 50 drug overdoses in a two-week span and to 20 in a 48-hour period this week.

In April, 10 people died from suspected drug overdoses in the city, double the monthly totals from January, February and March. The statistics are alarming given that for the past six months, with the advent of Safe Stations, the number of overdoses and deaths were dropping.

Carfentanil is the most powerful form of fentanyl and is used as an elephant tranquilizer.

Police had been trying to find Thorpe since April 27 after they searched his 50 Sentinel Court residence and allegedly found a trace amount of carfentanil as well as some marijuana.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team, wearing protective clothing and using breathing gear, was part of the team executing the search warrant, police said.

Investigators thought Thorpe may have headed to his native Temecula, Calif., because his apartment appeared to have been cleaned out.


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