Local Crime, Police/Fire

Investigation leads to drug trafficking arrest

PEABODY — A Salem man was arrested on heroin trafficking charges Wednesday night following a months-long investigation.

Peabody, Salem, and Saugus police, along with the DEA, have been investigating allegations of drug trafficking in Peabody by Juan Vittini-Valdez of Salem for the past several months, Peabody Police Captain Dennis Bonaiuto said. That investigation culminated Wednesday night with Vittini-Valdez’s arrest in Danvers after a short car chase.

“(Vittini-Valdez) was seen around 7 p.m. in the vicinity of Pulaski Street,” Bonaiuto said. “An officer attempted to stop him, but he fled into Danvers and passed several cars in a no-passing zone. He was finally stopped on Water Street in Danvers and taken into custody.”

Vittini-Valdez was found in possession of “a substance believed to be heroin and an undetermined amount of cash,” when arrested, according to the captain.

As a result of the investigation and the car chase, police charged Vittini-Valdez with trafficking in heroin/morphine/or opium, possession with intent to distribute a class A drug, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, speeding, and a marked lanes violation.

Bonaiuto said the joint-agency investigation into drug trafficking in Peabody and Salem is ongoing.

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