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Friday, October 25, 2013

Five arrested in drug bust, Nashua Police target ‘nuisance’ Temple Street building

NASHUA – Four residents of a notorious city rooming house, including the building manager, were busted this week as part of an undercover drug investigation. Police say the amount of drugs flowing through the building along with a series of other arrests there have them looking into ways to encourage the owner to clean up the building.

Nashua Police Lt. David Bailey said after a weeks-long investigation police charged Kendrah DeHate, 31,
formerly of Nashua and now a Haverhill, Mass., resident, with supplying around 10 grams of heroin a day to four residents of 29 Temple St., who would then sell it to street-level dealers in the city. ...

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NASHUA – Four residents of a notorious city rooming house, including the building manager, were busted this week as part of an undercover drug investigation. Police say the amount of drugs flowing through the building along with a series of other arrests there have them looking into ways to encourage the owner to clean up the building.

Nashua Police Lt. David Bailey said after a weeks-long investigation police charged Kendrah DeHate, 31,
formerly of Nashua and now a Haverhill, Mass., resident, with supplying around 10 grams of heroin a day to four residents of 29 Temple St., who would then sell it to street-level dealers in the city.

“We knew there was a substantial amount of heroin coming out of that building so we concentrated our efforts,” Bailey said. “Seventy grams a week going through that building. That’s a problem.”

Because of a spate of armed robberies in the city this summer that police say are almost certainly driven by drug addiction, police said they are targeting the property and others like it as a nuisance and seeking legal action against the owners.

Nashua police detectives and members of the Problem Oriented Policing unit arrested four residents of the building Wednesday. Vernon Grant, 35; Apryll Grant, 29; Christopher O’Riley, 35; and Samantha Brailsford, 25; as well as DeHate; all were held on high, cash-only bail and arraigned at Nashua district court Thursday morning, police said.

Police said they relied on anonymous tips, cooperating informants and surveillance to determine that DeHate was making daily trips from Massachusetts to supply O’Riley, Brailsford and the Grants with heroin. They would then supply street-level dealers in the city, police said.

Bailey said the Grants, a married couple, were selling out of Room 108, while O’Riley, the building manager for the past seven years, and Brailsford, were selling out of Room 104.

Ten grams of heroin fetches about $800 in Nashua, Bailey said, meaning the group was bringing in as much as $5,600 a week.

All four Temple Street residents were charged with sale and possession of heroin. Vernon and Apryll Grant also were each charged with illegal possession of alprazolam, famotidine and Viagra, police said.

DeHate was charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana, police said.

Bailey said police are working with city code enforcement officers and researching state criminal statutes to see if the building can be deemed a nuisance.

Nelson Ortega, the city’s code enforcement manager, said code enforcement officers are investigating the building after police reported it for “drug sales and substandard living conditions.”

Code enforcement officers have been contacted about the building seven times since 2006 when the city’s newest computer software was installed. At least 21 complaints were filed before 2006 under an older computer system, Ortega said.

L.T.A. Investments LLC, is the listed owner of the rooming house, known to many in the city as “The Shack,” Bailey said. A call to a company official was not immediately returned Thursday.

Bailey said police will be using similar tactics to address other “nuisance” buildings in the city.

“It’s something we’re not just going to look at with this building but with other buildings in the city,” he said. “At this point we have to look at other avenues, not just arresting the dealers, but addressing the problem over there.”

The four people arrested this week are not the only residents of the building arrested for selling drugs this year.

Leon Smith, 33, was arrested July 24 and charged with selling crack cocaine. Omayra Jimenz was arrested in April for dealing drugs, Bailey said.

In July, Clayton “Psycho” Turner, 30, of 38 Amherst St., Nashua, was arrested and charged with reckless conduct for allegedly firing a gun in the air following a confrontation at the rooming house, police said.

The drug charges against the four Temple Street residents are the results of undercover drug buys at the rooming house. The possession charges are the result of searches of the Grants’ and O’Riley’s rooms inside the building, as well as a search of DeHate’s vehicle, police said.

Vernon Grant is charged with two counts of unlawful sale of narcotic drug-heroin and one count each of possession heroin, possession alprazolam, possession of famotidine, and possession of Viagra. He was held on $50,000 cash bail, police said.

Apryll Grant is charged with four counts of unlawful sale of narcotic drug-heroin and one count each of possession of heroin, possession suboxone, possession of alprazolam, possession of famotidine and possession of Viagra, She was held on $100,000 cash bail, police said.

O’Riley is charged with two counts of unlawful sale of narcotic drug-heroin. He was held on $75,000 cash bail, police said.

Brailsford is charged with a single count of unlawful sale of narcotic drug-heroin, and held on $25,000 cash bail, police said.

DeHate is charged with possession of a narcotic drug with intent to distribute in excess of five grams-heroin, and was held on $10,000 cash bail, police said.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).