AMESBURY – A suspected fentanyl dealer called a “violent offender” by local police was ordered held without bail at his arraignment in Newburyport District Court on Tuesday. His appearance in court came hours after a SWAT team arrested him at his Market Street house.
Daniel D. Sodoyer, 39, of 48 Market St., was found in contempt of court when he refused to cooperate with officials there so they could arraign him on the following charges: four counts of distributing a class A drug, and one count each of distributing a class C drug, distributing crack cocaine, possession of counterfeit notes and vandalizing property.
His arrest came after a lengthy police investigation involving undercover drug buys and help from Seabrook and Salisbury police, according to court records.
Records also show that prior to his arraignment, Sodoyer refused to complete an intake process with the probation department, a protocol that determines whether he can afford to hire a lawyer or needs one appointed by the court. Court officials are expected to try to arraign him today, Nov. 27.
Amesbury police Lt. Kevin Donovan said because of Sodoyer’s criminal history, a “standard response” Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council team, more commonly referred to as a SWAT team, assisted local police when they served Sodoyer with an arrest warrant Tuesday morning.
“He’s a violent offender so it was a very good thing to get him off the streets,” Donovan said.
The lieutenant praised the work of Amesbury police Detective Sean Leary, other Amesbury police officers and Seabrook and Salisbury police, who helped amass the evidence needed to arrest Sodoyer.
According to police records, Sodoyer shot someone in 2005 in Derry, New Hampshire, over drugs and was sentenced to a term of three to nine years in jail. He was also involved in armed home invasions in Haverhill and, at the time of his arrest, he was on parole for offenses out of Exeter, New Hampshire.
After police arrested him they obtained a search warrant and found more than a gram of fentanyl, a gram of cocaine, 3.7 grams of crack cocaine, seven oxycodone pills and other pills. Police also said they recovered $4,006 cash, $1,250 of counterfeit money, two digital scales and two cellphones.
Beginning in July, Leary began speaking to an informant about drug deals taking place in Amesbury. By October, those discussions focused on fentanyl and heroin exchanges at 48 Market St. Those discussions led to four undercover fentanyl and cocaine buys from Sodoyer outside his Market Street home over several weeks. After those buys, Leary obtained an arrest warrant for Sodoyer.
Based on Sodoyer’s criminal history and a report that he recently asked a friend for ammunition, Amesbury police called in the SWAT team to help in the arrest.
Sodoyer was arrested around 6 a.m. on Tuesday and brought to the station for booking. Officials said he refused to answer questions or allow officers to take his fingerprints. At one point, he rammed his shoulder against a wall and damaged it, triggering the vandalism charge by police.