Judge Holds Haverhill Man on $25,000 Cash Bail After Fentanyl, Cocaine Dealing Arrest

Haverhill District Court. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A 34-year-old Haverhill man, arrested Tuesday night by Haverhill Police on fentanyl and crack cocaine dealing charges, was ordered held on $25,000 cash bail yesterday in Haverhill District Court.

Matthew Pantoja, of 8 Elm St., Haverhill, was arraigned before Judge Patricia Dowling. He was arrested by police around 9:30, Tuesday night, on charges of fentanyl trafficking, possession of drugs with intent to distribute, two counts of distribution of a class B drug and outstanding warrants from New Bedford District Court.

According to court papers Pantoja’s arrest came as part of a Haverhill Police undercover operation. He was first spotted by police Friday, Oct. 9, at 3:30 p.m., walking on Main Street by Elm Street, and went on to allegedly make a “hand-to-hand” drug transaction with the passenger in a parked SUV on Sixth Avenue by Auburn Street. Police watched Pantoja again on Tuesday at about 4 p.m. make a similar transaction with the driver of another car. Police pulled that driver over on Kenoza Avenue and discovered and seized what they believed to be crack cocaine. Both buyers cooperated with officers.

Police said they watched Pantoja make other transactions over the next few hours and arrested him when he returned to his third-floor apartment at about 9 p.m. At the apartment, officers discovered 24 small plastic bags of what is believed to be 22.3 grams of fentanyl, 13 bags of what is believed to be three grams of crack cocaine, almost $2,000 in cash and a digital scale.

Pantoja was ordered to return to court Nov. 23.

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