Haverhill Police Seize Fentanyl, Illegal Handgun from Maine Trio

Haverhill Police seized suspected fentanyl, cash and an illegal handgun near Westgate Plaza on May 11. (Courtesy photograph)

Detectives from Haverhill’s Narcotics Unit working undercover Saturday nabbed a trio from Maine for trafficking fentanyl across state lines, taking more than 177 grams of the deadly drug off the streets after the weekend bust, WHAV has confirmed.

Working the area of River Street and Lowell Avenue on May 11, Detective Dana Burrill Jr. followed a Honda Civic driven by Christopher Macfarlane from the River Street McDonald’s onto Interstate 495 and pulled him over just before exit 52 in the highway’s breakdown lane. In his report, Burrill said Macfarlane was “all over the road” and made Burrill concerned for his team’s safety.

Macfarlane denied having weapons on him, only to have Burrill locate an un-capped needle in his sweatpants pocket when he was searched outside of the car.

During the traffic stop, passenger Matthew Byras put police on notice. “I spoke to him through the open window and asked if there was anything in the vehicle I should know about, and Byras stated, ‘Well, I do have this,’ and reached for the glove box,’” Burrill wrote in his report. Police later discovered a loaded Glock 9mm handgun.

According to Byras—who was also found in possession of assorted oxycodone and oxycontin pills—he purchased the weapon in Maine and does not have a Massachusetts firearms license.

Once the car was fully searched, more than 177 grams of suspected fentanyl—separated into what police called 16 “fingers”—were seized, along with $290 cash and numerous uncapped needles.

A second passenger in the car, Crystal Pare, was also arrested and charged with fentanyl trafficking and conspiracy to violate drug laws. On Monday, Haverhill District Court First Justice Stephen S. Abany ordered Pare held on $20,000 cash bail. Macfarlane and Byras were held on cash bail amounts of $15,000 and $30,000, respectively.

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