SALEM — A Salem man found guilty last week of dealing heroin while living over a day care center was sentenced yesterday to 71/2 to 12 years in state prison.
That’s because it was at least the fourth time that Pedro Duran Alix, 49, has been convicted of drug distribution charges in a criminal career that dates back to the 1980s.
And that’s not the most serious offense on his record, which includes a conviction for manslaughter in the 1986 stabbing death of a Salem man. His record also includes other crimes of violence, said the judge.
“It appears Mr. Alix has just dedicated himself to a life of crime,” said Salem Superior Court Judge Howard Whitehead, who imposed the sentence.
The judge went on to call the case “the ultimate school-zone violation.”
“How much worse a situation could it be to have preschool kids and a drug dealer in the same building?” Whitehead commented before sentencing Alix to five to seven years on the heroin possession with intent to distribute charge to be followed by another 21/2 to five years for dealing drugs near a school or a park.
Alix was living with his mother at 92 Congress St. in March 2012 when he came onto the radar of Salem police detectives, who had obtained a search warrant for the second-floor apartment.
The building also housed Community Child Care and was across the street from Mary Jane Lee Park.
On the morning of March 15, 2012, police found nearly half an ounce of heroin divided among six bags, as well as digital scales, a ledger and numerous plastic sandwich bags with the corners cut off.
Yesterday, prosecutor Jean Curran used some of the other items found when police searched the apartment — including Alix’s MassHealth and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, a driver’s license, and his passport — to connect him to his lengthy criminal record.