Vehicle stop leads to bail violation, new charges for Nashuan

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup James Henry, a former Nashua resident arrested on drug-related offenses while on bail in another Nashua case, appeared in court Tuesday for his arraignment and bail hearing.

NASHUA – When police stopped James Henry as he drove through Nashua Sunday, they ended up taking him into custody after discovering he was allegedly driving on a suspended license and registration, according to police reports.

Things went downhill from there for the 50-year-old Henry, a former resident of 120 Palm St. in Nashua, who currently lives in a downtown Manchester apartment building.

Police, in searching Henry, found roughly $1,000 in cash on him, and in his vehicle allegedly found a scale, a small plastic bag, “items that are consistent with drug use,” Assistant County Attorney Brett Harpster said at Henry’s bail hearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court-South.

Later, according to police and Harpster’s account in court, police found a substance believed to be either fentanyl or heroin, along with a quantity of crack cocaine, hidden in Henry’s underwear, the reports state.

Henry told police he had gone to Massachusetts and allegedly purchased 20 grams of heroin to sell in Nashua, Harpster said.

Henry, represented by public defender Sarah Amorin, entered not guilty pleas to the charges and waived formal arraignment.

He is facing one count each of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, special felonies; one count of possession of cocaine, a felony; and one count each of operating after suspension and operating with a suspended registration, both misdemeanors.

Harpster asked Judge Jacalyn Colburn to hold Henry on preventive detention, which she granted after hearing from Harpster and Amorin.

Barring a request for a hearing on bail or other matters, Henry will next appear in court on Feb. 21 for a dispositional hearing.

In addressing Henry’s criminal history, Harpster said he counted 15 default charges from Massachusetts, all of which go back to the late 1980s.

More concerning to the state, Harpster said, is that Henry had been free on bail in connection with an August drug-related arrest when he was apprehended Sunday.

Harpster said Henry was charged in August with two counts of possession of fentanyl or heroin and one count of possession of crack cocaine, after police, acting upon information received from the state Division of Children, Youth and Families, responded to an apartment on Buck Street in Nashua.

Henry was processed and later released on bail as the case moved forward. According to Colburn, a sentencing hearing was recently scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 5, apparently the result of a plea agreement by the parties.

Amorin, responding to Henry’s latest arrest, said “each of the old cases” Harpster mentioned had been dismissed, except for one conviction in a 1986 driving while intoxicated case.

At the bail hearing, Amorin described Henry as “sick … that’s why he’s slumped over the table.” Henry’s intention, she said, was to check into a drug treatment facility as soon as possible, and was making arrangements to do so in Massachusetts, where he has family – and where there’s more availability than in New Hampshire.

Colburn denied Amorin’s request for personal recognizance bail, telling her and Henry that she’s “not persuaded by the argument” that he is not a danger to himself or others if released.

The fact Henry was arrested while out on bail “suggests you don’t comply with (court) orders,” Colburn told him.

She did say the court would consider personal recognizance bail if Henry succeeds in entering a treatment facility, and provides proof to the court.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com, or @Telegraph_DeanS.