GEORGETOWN — When Georgetown police executed a search warrant on Friday at a so-called "sober" house a 63-year-old woman allegedly operated, they found her in a bedroom along with a 22-year-old man who was preparing to shoot up heroin.
A younger woman living in the home told police that the man and older woman were in a relationship and had been breaking into homes and stealing items to sell to buy heroin, which she said they sold to others who came to the home to buy drugs.
Police charged Nathan Caron, 22, of 6 Dummer Ave., with possession of Class A heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. Caron, the primary target of the investigation, was charged as a repeat offender. He also has open court cases out of Haverhill and Georgetown, according to Georgetown police.
Police charged Sheryl Savage, 63, and Kristine Lynch, 30, both of 6 Dummer Ave., with being present where heroin is kept. Savage was also charged with conspiracy to violate the drug laws.
All three were arraigned on Monday in Haverhill District Court.
Caron's defense lawyer, Robert Finneran, asked that Caron be released so that his family could arrange for him to attend an in-patient drug treatment program. Finneran said Caron had recently attended a 10-day program at Baldpate Hospital, but that "perhaps it wasn't enough."
Finneran added that any reference to Caron and Savage being in a relationship was "salacious" and had nothing to do with the charges against them.
Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo noted that according to police, Savage is studying criminal justice at Northern Essex Community College and was involved in a heroin selling operation out of her so-called sober house. He said Savage's son overdosed on heroin last week and required the intervention of police, who used Narcan to revive him.
"The list of ironies would be too long," DePaulo said.
Judge Stephen Abany noted that he'd twice given Caron 90-day warnings to stay out of trouble on cases that were pending and that those warnings "have to have some significance else it makes a mockery out of the whole system."
"Twice I've told him to stay out of trouble," Abany said.
Abany set bail for Caron at $10,000 and revoked his bail on a pending case of possession of heroin and operating with a suspended license.
Savage's defense lawyer, Glenn Herlihy, argued for Savage's release saying she doesn't have the physical capability to break into homes as she is dealing with a host of physical maladies.
Abany set bail for Savage at $5,000, and released Lynch on personal recognizance. All three were given 90-day warnings, meaning if they are charged with new offenses while their cases are pending they can be ordered held for up to 90 days without bail.
Lynch told police that she and Savage's son are both disgusted that Caron and Savage are in a relationship and that when people come to the house to buy heroin, if Caron isn't there to sell it to them then Savage sells it for him. Lynch also told police that Savage drives Caron to pick up drugs as well as to sites for breaking and entering.
According to a press release issued by Georgetown Police Chief Donald Cudmore, a search warrant executed on Friday at 6 Dummer Ave. yielded a quantity of heroin and rooms full of stolen property believed to be connected to burglaries and robberies in at least three communities. Police said many of the items found during the warrant search included construction tools and equipment stolen from houses that were actively under construction.
The investigation into alleged heroin dealing led police to seek a search warrant for the Dummer Avenue home. Police said Lynch also lives at the home and is an acquaintance of Savage's son, who not present when police executed the search warrant nor was he arrested or charged with a crime.
According to a police report, Caron admitted to breaking into two home construction sites. He told police he has a serious drug problem and that he did not know why he was involved in the breaks as he was "f....d up in the head."
Savage told Georgetown detectives that she was a substance abuse counselor and that she's been looking after Caron because he's an addict. She told police that she was asleep when Caron was shooting up next to her. Savage told police that although she was not a licensed counselor, she was going to school for it.
"Heroin is a problem in every community," Cudmore said in his press release. "It destroys lives and families and can have a devastating effect on neighborhoods. In Georgetown, we refuse to turn a blind eye to the problem, and we will continue to aggressively pursue those who allegedly attempt to manufacture and sell these poisons. In this investigation, we see an unfortunate mixture of the sad results of the drug trade."
During the search, detectives observed, in plain view, jewelry, power tools, electronics, and tool cases, some of which displayed the names of contractors or Georgetown residents who are known to be victims of recent thefts or break-ins, according to Cudmore's press release.
This led police to seek a second search warrant to authorize the seizure of the property. After receiving the second warrant, police located more property throughout the house, in several rooms. The search also turned up a set of lock-picking tools, according to the police report.
The investigation is ongoing, but Georgetown Police Detectives have so far linked the property to thefts and break-ins in Georgetown, Topsfield, and Newbury. The Georgetown Police Department is working with police in those communities and inquiring with others.
Detectives also located blank and filled-out personal checks belonging to several neighborhood residents.
The Georgetown Police Department is working with the victims to return property and help them identify any missing funds.
There was so much evidence from Friday's search warrants, that it took nearly 48 hours to inventory and process everything, according to Cudmore's press release.