Authorities recovered a gun that was stolen from the West Springfield Police Department, along with more than 400 envelopes of heroin after making an arrest in the South End Wednesday night, according to a police report.
While patrolling Margaret Street around 6 p.m., officers saw a blue Ford blow the stop sign at the corner of East Columbus Avenue – next to Starbucks Café.
While conducting a routine traffic stop, officers noticed the driver attempt to hide something beneath his seat. He then threw a plastic bag out of the window that contained cash and numerous packages of brown powder, police said.
When police arrested the driver, identified as Jose Rivera, of 74 Jefferson Ave., he informed them of a Smith and Wesson pistol hidden under the passenger seat, police said.
Rivera was charged with possession of a Class A drug (heroin) with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm while committing a felony, possession of a firearm with two prior drug convictions, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, receiving stolen property (firearm) and carrying a dangerous weapon with an active warrant. Rivera had a warrant for his arrest for two counts of assault and battery, according to the police report.
Local leaders, the medical community and law enforcement are looking at ways to combat the growing heroin epidemic in Western Massachusetts. They held a conference at Greenfield Community College Monday as we deal with the problem of cheap, available heroin in our part of the state.
Massachusetts state police say 185 people have died of heroin overdoses during the last four months, but that does not include fatal overdoses in the state's three largest cities.
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