State Police Traffic Stop Brings Heroin Arrest

Photograph courtesy of Massachusetts State Police.

Massachusetts State Police have apparently made a dent in the supply of illegal heroin in the Merrimack Valley as a traffic stop Thursday on Interstate 495 lead to a Pennsylvania man being charged with heroin trafficking.

Juan Mendez, 37, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was arrested and charged with trafficking in heroin and held on $500,000 cash bail pending arraignment Friday in Ayer District Court. Also Pablo Albino, 27, of Lawrence, was arrested on an outstanding warrant for operating a motor vehicle without a license. He was transported to Concord District Court.

According to state police, a trooper stopped a 2009 Ford Econoline van Thursday morning on Interstate 495 south in Westford for speeding in the left travel lane. A subsequent investigation found Mendez was in possession of about 570 grams of a substance believed to be heroin.

Mendez and Albino were booked at state police barracks in Concord. The driver of the van was cited for speeding and committing a left lane violation.