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Police in New Hampshire, Massachusetts make $2M drug seizure

June 29, 2015

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The shooting of a woman during an apparent home invasion last week started a cascade of events that led to the arrest of three people in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and the seizure of heroin and the painkiller Fentanyl worth more than $2 million, police said Monday.

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard said officers were called to a reported shooting at a Manchester apartment on June 22 and found 24-year-old Jeannette Hardy wounded in the hand. During the investigation, police found nearly 2,000 grams of heroin worth about $200,000 and almost $200,000 in cash. Hardy was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs.

That arrest led police in both states, working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, to a second person: Luis Nieves, 33, of Haverhill, Massachusetts. After watching Nieves, police pulled him over and found more than 2,000 grams of heroin worth more than $200,000. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs and conspiracy.

The investigation next led to Jose Casellas, 37, of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Willard said Casellas delivered three kilograms of an “extremely dangerous” batch of heroin/Fentanyl worth about $300,000 to an undisclosed person in Andover, Massachusetts on June 25. Police searched a second property rented by Casellas, which they said was used as a drug lab and manufacturing plant, and found 15 kilograms of the heroin/Fentanyl combination worth an estimated $1.5 million.

Hardy posted bail last week; she doesn’t have a lawyer yet. Nieves is being jailed on $250,000 bail. The public defender representing him didn’t respond to a call seeking comment.

Casellas was charged with trafficking heroin and giving a fake name and ordered held on $1.5 million bail. It couldn’t be learned if he has a lawyer.