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Statewide drug sweep leads to 151 arrests in NH

  • State, local and federal law enforcement announced on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, a massive statewide Granite Shield operation resulting in the arrest of 151 suspects, and the seizure of more than 551 grams of heroin and fentanyl, about 18,000 doses with a street value of more than $22,000, 24 weapons, and $37,000 in cash. —Courtesy

  • State, local and federal law enforcement announced on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, a massive statewide Granite Shield operation resulting in the arrest of 151 suspects, and the seizure of more than 551 grams of heroin and fentanyl, about 18,000 doses with a street value of more than $22,000, 24 weapons, and $37,000 in cash. —Courtesy

  • State, local and federal law enforcement announced on Friday a statewide Granite Shield operation resulting in the arrest of 151 suspects, and the seizure of more than 551 grams of heroin and fentanyl, about 18,000 doses with a street value of more than $22,000, 24 weapons, and $37,000 in cash. —Courtesy

  • State, local and federal law enforcement announced on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, a massive statewide Granite Shield operation resulting in the arrest of 151 suspects, and the seizure of more than 551 grams of heroin and fentanyl, about 18,000 doses with a street value of more than $22,000, 24 weapons, and $37,000 in cash. —Courtesy

  • State, local and federal law enforcement announced on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, a massive statewide Granite Shield operation resulting in the arrest of 151 suspects, and the seizure of more than 551 grams of heroin and fentanyl, about 18,000 doses with a street value of more than $22,000, 24 weapons, and $37,000 in cash. Latuch, Amber—Courtesy

  • State, local and federal law enforcement announced on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, a massive statewide Granite Shield operation resulting in the arrest of 151 suspects, and the seizure of more than 551 grams of heroin and fentanyl, about 18,000 doses with a street value of more than $22,000, 24 weapons, and $37,000 in cash. —Courtesy

  • State, local and federal law enforcement announced on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, a massive statewide Granite Shield operation resulting in the arrest of 151 suspects, and the seizure of more than 551 grams of heroin and fentanyl, about 18,000 doses with a street value of more than $22,000, 24 weapons, and $37,000 in cash. —Courtesy

  • State, local and federal law enforcement announced on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, a massive statewide Granite Shield operation resulting in the arrest of 151 suspects, and the seizure of more than 551 grams of heroin and fentanyl, about 18,000 doses with a street value of more than $22,000, 24 weapons, and $37,000 in cash. —Courtesy



Monitor staff
Friday, February 16, 2018

Eighty-eight local, state and federal law enforcement agencies executed one of the largest ever drug sweeps Thursday in the Granite State that resulted in 151 arrests, the seizure of more than 551 grams of heroin and fentanyl, $37,251 in cash and 24 weapons.

Drug dealers represented at least half of the total arrests made statewide, and all but about 20 of the 151 arrests resulted in drug-related charges, New Hampshire State Police Captain John Encarnacao said during a news conference Friday in Concord.

“We weren’t out there just arresting people for possession,” said Encarnacao, the commander of the investigate services bureau. “We were addressing the source; we were addressing the people that were bringing heroin, fentanyl and other narcotics into our state.”

Law enforcement officials seized 551 grams of heroin/fentanyl and 141  oxycodone pills statewide. In commending those efforts, however, they also noted the large presence of methamphetamine, which they said cannot be overlooked. Search warrants resulted in the seizure of about 48 grams of the drug.

Methamphetamine is a strong chemical cocktail, with ingredients including pseudoephedrine, acetone, lithium, toluene and hydrochloric acid. In powder or chunky crystal form, methamphetamine is a stimulant, the opposite of depressants like heroin and fentanyl. It can be snorted, injected or smoked.

“We predicted this a while ago, that meth would come back – and it has,” Police Chief David Goldstein said after the press briefing. “What we’ve seen the last few months is that all of the drugs sent out to be analyzed are coming back exclusively methampheamine or a mixture of meth and heroin, or meth and fentanyl.”

As part of Thursday’s statewide efforts, Franklin police made nine arrests and conducted one search warrant for drugs. Police officers executed a second search warrant in the city Friday morning, as the press conference was held, Goldstein said.

“It’s an ongoing battle of trying to stay ahead of what the drug community wants. When I was undercover, cocaine was the drug of choice. They never really disappear; rather, we just see them in varying amounts,” Goldstein said. “We will solve the opioid problem – no question. What’s waiting in the wings, that’s what we have to ask ourselves.”

Those who took to the podium during Friday’s news conference reiterated that the prior day’s massive sweep is just one in a continuing fight against drugs.

The operation was funded through the $4.5 million lawmakers approved in 2017 to spend over the next two years to ramp up the state’s law enforcement efforts in the war on drugs. The exact cost of Thursday’s statewide sweep as part of Operation Granite Shield was not disclosed.

Gov. Chris Sununu, who opened the news conference, said New Hampshire law enforcement cannot let the state’s borders restrict their efforts to hold drug dealers accountable, and that close collaboration with officers in neighboring states is paramount.

The neighboring states of Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont carried out similar law enforcement initiatives Thursday that resulted in additional arrests.

“Our goal is clear: We are sending a message to drug trafficking organizations that we are not going to let them continue to make a killing here in New Hampshire,” Encarnacao said. “We are building our defenses on the highways, in our cities, in our towns and on our borders. We are strengthening our partnerships to match our resolve. This is only the beginning.”

The growing partnerships between all levels of law enforcement has allowed those agencies with fewer resources to have an equal footing in the fight, police officers said.

In Concord, the department staffed additional officers Thursday who could focus exclusively on arresting people with outstanding drug warrants and on conducting surveillance in high-volume drug areas in the city, Concord police Lt. Sean Ford said by phone.

Operation Granite Shield led to the arrests of six Concord residents: Clayton Lindbert, 28; Michael Cummings, 48; Robin Lane, 50; McKenzie Shea, 24; Sara Bourke, 31; and Fred Estes IV, 21. Also arrested was Chuck Sargeant, 48, of Loudon.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)