Police Nab Five in Complicated Drug Trafficking Operation

Haverhill police dented a complicated drug trafficking operation yesterday, arresting three, summonsing two others to appear in court and seizing 51.2 grams of “suspected heroin,” 5.1 grams of cocaine and $2,759 in cash.

Undercover narcotics detectives were stationed along Broadway, near Interstate 495, exit 50, and witnessed suspicious behavior between individuals in several cars, beginning around 11:30 a.m. It began when police spotted two vehicles with New Hampshire and Maine license plates entering parking lots at Dunkin Donuts and across the street at Grill Next Door restaurant.

“Both parties stayed in the (motor vehicles) and appeared to be nervous, looking around the parking lot and then back at each other,” according to a police report. A male and female inside the Maine vehicle, a Subaru, eventually drove across the street to join the New Hampshire truck, a Chevy pick-up, but no further interaction was observed for 20 minutes. Both vehicles left the parking lot and headed West on Broadway. Eventually, the Subaru and a Massachusetts-registered BMW sport utility vehicle briefly met in the middle of Jericho Road.

A group of detectives stopped the BMW on I-495 south before exit 48 and arrested Michael Paganlavergne, 28, of Lawrence, and Mercedes Peguero-Saldana, 43, of 6 Blaisdell Ave., Haverhill. Police seized $2,202 from Peguero Saldana and $90 from Paganlavergne. At the police station, police found in Paganlavergne’s underwear 10 bags of a brown powder substance believed to be heroin through and three bags of a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine. Meanwhile, a second set of detectives stopped the pick-up truck and seized 25.1 grams of heroin and $467 from driver Thomas Zogopoulos, 45, of Manchester, N.H.

All three were charged with trafficking in heroin/morphine/opium and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Paganlavergne and Peguero-Saldana were each additionally charged with drug possession with intent to distribute.

Police also followed and stopped the Subaru at Broadway and Monument, finding a small bag of a brown powder substance in the man’s right sock, believed to be heroin. The unidentified pair were summonsed for possession of class A drugs and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

All are expected to be arraigned in Haverhill District Court today.