, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 9, 2013

'Kingpin' nabbed in raid

Police say street value of drugs seized was about $9,000

NEWBURYPORT— A Newburyport man has been ordered held on a $1 million surety/$100,000 cash bail, after being termed “the kingpin,” among those arrested Thursday, in a multi-agency drug raid — the culmination of months of investigative work.

Arraigned yesterday at Newburyport District Court, Byron Lind, 36, 232 Low St., Newburyport, faced immediate charges on multiple counts of distributing class A drugs (opiates and heroin), distribution of counterfeit drugs, and conspiracy to distribute drugs, with the promise by Assistant District Attorney Maura Bailey that more serious charges related to drug trafficking would be coming on Tuesday.

Although Lind’s attorney, Andrew Benson, attempted to lower the high bail requested by Bailey, Judge Peter Doyle complied with Bailey’s request on $100,000 cash or $1 million surety bail.

Also arraigned yesterday was Maria Christina Ellison, 35, who lives at an apartment at 18 Woodman Way, Newburyport, and charged with two counts of sale of class A drugs and one of conspiracy to violate the drug laws. Bailey alleged that Ellison is Lind’s girlfriend and that she is involved in his alleged illegal drug business and was present where drugs were sold. Ellison was ordered held on $200,000 surety or $20,000 cash bail.

John Parks, 22, 8 Atlantic Ave., Amesbury, was also charged with two counts of sale of class A drugs and one of conspiracy to violate drug laws. He was ordered held on $100,000 surety or $10,000 cash bail.

During the arraignment, Bailey supplied details on the months-long, joint investigation by Salisbury and Newburyport police into an alleged “high-level drug distribution and sales” ring, that she said functioned out of two locations in Salisbury and two in Newburyport.

Flipping through pages of notes detailing the progress of the investigation which began in February, Bailey shared information police in Salisbury and Newburyport received about alleged drug distribution and sales of hundreds of oxycodone 30 milligram tablets and counterfeit drug tablets, believed to be laced with heroin.

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