Motorcyclist, 64, Dies in Plaistow Crash; Police Arrest 78-Year-Old for Allegedly Leaving Scene

A 64-year-old motorcyclist died from injuries she received during a Wednesday crash in Plaistow, N.H., and the driver of a pickup truck was arrested after allegedly leaving the scene. Plaistow Police said Lory Beck of Epping, N.H., died as a result of the crash around 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Westville Road. Police said she was struck on Main Street and witnesses gave officers a detailed description of the truck and driver said to be involved. “Despite the best efforts of paramedics of the Trinity Ambulance service, the Plaistow Fire Department and the medical staff of Lawrence General Hospital, Ms. Beck passed away as a result of the injuries she sustained in the collision,” police said in a statement. Seventy-eight-year-old Barry Burrows of Kingston, N.H., was arrested with the help of the Newton and Kingston Police Departments, officials said.

State Awards $100,000 to Essex County District Attorney’s Office for Violence Prevention

The Essex County District Attorney’s office is receiving $100,000 for violence prevention, response and community engagement efforts through the summer and fall months when, the state says, violent crime is often at its peak. Gov. Maura Healey met Monday with community partners, state public safety officials, district attorneys and police to discuss collaborative community partnerships that have proven impacts on public safety. The state’s Safer Communities Initiative distributed $1.5 million in federal Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants. “The Safer Communities grant program invests in the success of strong partnerships and underscores the importance of a team approach to the prevention, intervention and enforcement strategies needed to improve community safety and reach at-risk youth,” said Healey. “No single agency can do it alone, but working as partners, across disciplines and jurisdictions, we can make meaningful changes in young people’s lives.”

Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker will dedicate half of awarded money to projects aimed at prevention, intervention and/or diversion programming.

One Man Dies of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound in Lawrence; Another in Hospital

One person was shot and another suffered a fatal apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at a pair of sites in Lawrence on Thursday. Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker said the initial shooting occurred about 6:45 p.m. outside 324 Prospect St. The victim was taken to Lawrence General Hospital before being flown by medical helicopter to Boston for further treatment. The second shooting occurred nearby a short time later in a car parked outside 103 Summer St. Authorities seeking a suspect in the first shooting found one person inside, deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Man Pleads Not Guilty to Toppling Westgate Transformers, Creating $100,000 Hazmat Scene

(Additional photograph below.)

A 42-year-old man was arraigned in Haverhill District Court Wednesday on charges related to the toppling of an electrical transformer at Westgate Center Monday that caused a hazardous waste spill with cleanup costs estimated to be more than $100,000. Salvador A. Castro-Perlera of Somerville pleaded not guilty on charges of malicious destruction of property valued at greater than $1,200, attempting to commit a crime and breaking and entering in the daytime to commit a felony. Police said in a report Castro-Perlera was a subcontractor at the 401 Lowell Ave. site, adjacent to Interstate 495 and River Street, where a hotel is being demolished and new one being built. Police allege the man stayed after work Monday, used another contractor’s Komatsu loader to take underground copper wires, toppling transformers on a pole across the street and leaking hazardous oil. In an initial interview Tuesday afternoon with Haverhill Police Detectives Kaylee Sarfde and Sgt.

Investigation into Lawrence, Methuen Fentanyl Pill Network Brings Two Arrests

Two Lawrence residents pleaded not guilty on drug charges Wednesday in Lawrence District Court following an investigation into a suspected fentanyl pill distribution network in the Lawrence and Methuen area

Police recovered more than 16 pounds of suspected fentanyl and methamphetamine pills, plus two guns, according to Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker and Lawrence Police Head of Department Capt. Michael McCarthy. Thirty-six-year-old Vincent Cahalane was ordered held without bail, while 23-year-old Mariah Lasalle was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail. Cahalane was arrested and charged with numerous firearms offenses, as well as trafficking 200+ grams of Class A drugs, described as fentanyl; 200+ grams Class B drugs, described as cocaine, and an additional 200+ grams of Class B drugs, described as methamphetamine. Lasalle was charged with trafficking 10+ grams of Class A drugs, fentanyl, and 36+ grams Class B drugs, methamphetamine. In May, members of the Essex County District Attorney’s office State Police Detective Unit began investigating the drug network.

Defense Lawyer Calls Charges Against Haverhill Latin Teacher ‘Somewhat Dubious’

A lawyer for Haverhill High School Latin teacher James “Jay” Fiorentini Jr., accused of “annoying/accosting” two students during a May 4 incident, Friday called the allegations “somewhat dubious” in light of few witnesses. The 39-year-old son of Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini was arraigned in Newburyport District Court on the charges before Judge Mary McCabe. He was ordered to stay away from the students accusing him while he was teaching at Haverhill High School’s Classical Academy. McCabe also cautioned Fiorentini to keep away from the student’s parents and Haverhill High School itself. Fiorentini’s defense attorney, Stephen Neyman of Boston, however, asked for a September hearing to present a motion to dismiss the charges.

Ethics Commission Enforcement Division Asks for Penalties Against Former Methuen Chief Solomon

The State Ethics Commission’s Enforcement Division says it finds “reasonable cause” to believe former Methuen Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon took advantage of a conflict of interest to raise his own salary higher than $375,000 and hire “intermittent” officers already working for his private security firm. Commission Chief Enforcement Counsel Monica Brookman asks the Commission to “levy such fines, issue such orders and grant such other relief as may be appropriate” as punishment. Brookman alleges Solomon violated the conflict-of-interest law by including changes in a revised draft collective bargaining agreement that would increase his salary without notifying the mayor or any other city officials of the changes or their financial impacts.”

The Show Cause Order also alleges Solomon “provided unwarranted benefits to five intermittent police officers and sent the city’s human resources director a fabricated training certificate and a fabricated letter to allow Methuen City Councilor Sean J. Fountain, who was also a police officer, to continue to be paid.”

Brookman notes Solomon’s contract called for him to be paid “2.6 times the highest paid permanent, full time police officer.”

According to the Order, the superior officers’ union sought in 2017, and the city agreed to, a change in the way base pay was calculated in their collective bargaining agreement. “The leader of the superior officers’ union, in consultation with Solomon, subsequently added a provision that would have a stacking effect on compensation, resulting in estimated salary increases between 35% and 183%.”

The order alleges, Solomon, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, understood the financial impact of the changes, but did not inform other members of the negotiating team of the changes. Further, it alleges, Solomon emailed the president of the Methuen Police Patrolmen’s Association a new, revised draft patrolmen’s agreement with the same change, but did not notify the mayor or city’s negotiators and “knew the change would substantially affect his own salary, which would increase by an estimated $90,000 to over $375,000…”

In January 2022, an independent arbitrator determined the superior officers’ agreement was invalid because city officials approving the contract did not understand what they agreed to.

Teen, Alleged to Have Shot at Groveland Couple with Pellet Gun, Faces Charges

A 16-year-old, accused of shooting pellets at pedestrians in Groveland, is expected to be arraigned in the near future at Lawrence Juvenile Court

Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen said Friday the teen, unnamed because of his age, will be charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The charges came after Groveland Police were dispatched Saturday, June 17, at 8:19 p.m., to Main Street and Elm Park for a report of someone allegedly shooting pellets at pedestrians. Police said a caller reported that while out walking with his wife, he saw a red Honda Civic with four people inside. One of the passengers, who wore a mask hung out the window and pointed what appeared to be a pellet gun and began shooting at him and his wife. The man told police his jacket and his wife’s umbrella were struck, but no injuries were reported.