Boy called police on father after finding heroin, fentanyl in his luggage

Boy called police on father after finding heroin, fentanyl in his luggage

LAWRENCE — A Ferry Street man turned himself into Lawrence police Thursday evening — a night after his 11-year-old son was rummaging through his luggage and came across of what’s believed to be bags of illegal drugs. The son called police.

Detectives went to the Ferry Street boy’s home where they soon confiscated 212 grams of heroin and fentanyl mixed together in five separate sandwich bags in the bag, said police Chief James Fitzpatrick.

The boy also told police he’d seen his father selling drugs to someone at their home earlier in the day when he arrived home from school, Fitzpatrick said.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of the boy’s father, Yamil Mercado, 40. Mercado remained at-large for nearly 24 hours before turning himself into Lawrence police just before 7 p.m. Thursday.

Mercado is now expected to be arraigned on major drug trafficking and child endangerment charges on Friday in Lawrence District Court.

On Wednesday night, the 11-year-old boy and his 13-year-old cousin, who were both rummaging through the luggage, were not injured, Fitzpatrick said.

The manmade opioid painkiller fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than morphine, can be toxic to those who are merely in the drug’s presence.

The drugs found would yield roughly $8,500 when sold illegally, police said.

A scale and a bag of sandwich bags commonly used by drug dealers for packaging were also found in the bag, Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick applauded the boy four having the courage and insight to call police when he made the discovery Wednesday night.

“We are definitely grateful he felt comfortable enough to call us,” Fitzpatrick said.

Police also immediately notified the Department of Children and Families of the incident, which is standard protocol when a child is present in a criminally dangerous situation.

Fitzpatrick said the boy is in the care of his grandmother. He said the boy and his father were recently evicted from their home in another area of the city and had moved to Ferry Street.

Lawrence officer Joseph Padellaro first responded to the boy’s home on Wednesday night. When he saw what the boy had found, Padellaro immediately notified the police department’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit who took over the investigation, Fitzpatrick said.

For the protection of the child, Fitzpatrick did not release the boy’s name or exact address.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.

 

 

(c)2017 The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Mass.)
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