NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

May 10, 2013

Cocaine seized in drug bust

Undercover operation leads to arrest of Dorchester man

By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY — A Dorchester man with at least three different names is being held on $25,000 bail after allegedly selling an undercover police officer cocaine on three different occasions.

Upon his arrest by Amesbury police, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and a Salisbury police officer Wednesday afternoon, Santo M. Castillo, 39, of 67 Milton Ave., No. 2, told police his name was Javier Trouche. But after taking the suspect’s fingerprints and running a criminal background check, police discovered he had given them a false name. Castillo admitted to authorities he came into the country illegally from Texas and that he had children living in the Dominican Republic, according to court records.

While police are still unsure of the suspect’s true identity, they are quite sure Castillo met with an undercover Salisbury police officer three times since April 29 and sold him $400 worth of cocaine. The same police officer purchased another quantity of cocaine from a different suspect believed to be associated with Castillo. The buys took place in Haverhill, Merrimac and twice in Amesbury, all near exits off Interstate 495, according to the report of Amesbury Detective David Pare.

On April 25, police received a word from an informant that he had purchased cocaine at least 50 times from several Hispanic men who would meet him near Summit Avenue and South Martin Road, near Exit 54 on Interstate 495. The informant gave police a password that would allow them to set up a sting operation in an attempt to break up the drug purchases.

That night, a Salisbury police officer met Castillo in Haverhill by a Jewish cemetery near Exit 52 and purchased $100 worth of cocaine. Four days later, the same officer purchased more cocaine from a different suspect off Exit 53 in Merrimac. On May, 2, the officer met with Castillo near Exit 54 in Amesbury and purchased $100 worth of cocaine. Wednesday, police set up a fourth buy, again on Summit Avenue in Amesbury, but this time brought along a K-9 unit from the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and a sheriff’s department officer assigned to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

After the buy was completed, police stopped the suspect and placed him under arrest without incident. The K-9 unit and the sheriff’s department officer began searching the car for a hidden stash of drugs and found several bags of cocaine and heroin inside a plastic water bottle behind the center console. All told, police seized 17.8 grams of cocaine with a street value of $980, 5.5 grams of heroin worth $412 and hundreds of dollars in cash, according to Pare’s report.

Lt. Jeffrey Worthen, who leads the department’s detectives, said police would continue its investigation and is on the lookout for additional suspects.

“It was an excellent combined efforts between the departments involved,” Worthen said.

At Castillo’s arraignment yesterday in Newburyport District Court, Judge Mary McCabe ordered him held on $25,000 cash bail until a pretrial hearing on June 6. According to court records, Castillo remained in custody as of yesterday afternoon.