By Dave Rogers
---- — NEWBURYPORT — Area police continued their push to put an alleged drug-dealing operation out of business with Tuesday’s arrest of an Amesbury man who allegedly sold an undercover Salisbury police officer prescription pills, some laced with heroin, many times over a span of months.
Jeffrey Parks, 22, of 22 Perkins St., No. 5, Amesbury, turned himself in to Newburyport police at the department’s Green Street station Tuesday morning after a warrant for his arrest was issued last Thursday.
Parks was one of many issued arrest warrants last Thursday in connection with a massive drug-dealing enterprise based out of a fake storefront at 50 Elm St. in Salisbury, a storage locker at a facility at Cross Roads Plaza, a residence at 232 Low St. in Newburyport and an apartment on Woodman Way, according to police.
The fake storefront in Salisbury was made to resemble a thrift store, and was just around the corner from a legitimate thrift shop, Mystery Treasures, which is in no way connected to this case.
Last Thursday, dozens of local and Salisbury police raided the fake storefront, the storage facility and the two Newburyport residences.
Among those arrested by Salisbury police was Byron Lind, 36, 232 Low St., Newburyport, who was termed “the kingpin” of the drug operation by an Essex County prosecutor. Lind was charged on multiple counts of distributing class A drugs (opiates and heroin), distribution of counterfeit drugs and conspiracy to distribute drugs, with the possibility of additional charges being added.
Also arrested by Salisbury police on Thursday was Harley Fisher, 27, 53 Market St., Amesbury, taken into custody on outstanding warrants for probation violations on previous convictions on drug possession and felony larceny. Lawrence Crocker, 23, 21 Cove St., Derry, N.H., was also arrested by Salisbury police after being found at the 50 Elm St. address when they arrived.
Arrested by Newburyport police were Parks’ twin brother, John Parks, 22, of 8 Atlantic Ave., Amesbury, who was charged with two counts of sale of class A drugs and one of conspiracy to violate drug laws. Maria Christina Ellison, 35, of Woodman Way, Newburyport, was also arrested. She was charged with two counts of sale of class A drugs and one of conspiracy to violate the drug laws.
Jeffrey Parks was charged on multiple counts of distributing class A drugs (opiates and heroin), distribution of counterfeit drugs and conspiracy to distribute drugs. He was arraigned Tuesday at Newburyport District Court and is being held on $25,000 cash or $250,000 surety bail pending a pretrial hearing scheduled for Dec. 5.
According to court records, Jeffrey and John Parks were employees at Lind’s thrift store and lived in a backroom behind the storefront. In September, a criminal informant told police that Jeffrey Parks had sold him two 30 milligram oxycodone pills. That prompted police to set up a series of buys with Jeffrey Parks that brought Lind’s role into clearer focus.
After Jeffery Parks allegedly sold an undercover police officer two oxycodone pills for $65 outside Ellison’s Woodman Way apartment, police took the pills to a local pharmacy. A pharmacist there determined the pills to be counterfeit. Additional buys were conducted outside the Woodman Way apartment and inside the Sylvan Street Grill parking lot in Salisbury. On Oct. 15, police allegedly purchased 10 oxycodone pills for $270 from Jeffrey Parks. Less than a week later, police set up another purchase of 10 oxycodone pills from Lind and Jeffrey Parks inside the same parking lot. According to court records, at least some of the pills sold to an undercover police officer were laced with heroin.
Around that time, police believe Jeffrey Parks and another man broke into Lind’s storage unit inside Cross Roads Plaza and stole $200. Lind declined to press charges related to the theft and police say he and Jeffrey Parks stopped communicating with each other, according to court records.