SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 10, 2013

Ex-firefighter blames Adderall for crimes

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — The lawyer for a former Lynn firefighter charged in a string of crimes, including hiding under his ex-girlfriend’s bed in Salem and a poor attempt at counterfeiting in Middleton last year, yesterday blamed the prescription drug Adderall for the behavior.

Jason Papagikos, 37, of Lynn was sentenced to 21/2 years in jail, with six months to be served and the balance suspended for two years, during a hearing yesterday in Salem District Court, where he pleaded guilty in the two cases.

Papagikos is still facing credit card fraud and counterfeiting charges in Lynn, his lawyer confirmed yesterday.

Back in February 2012, Papagikos admitted yesterday, he stole his former girlfriend’s house keys and made a copy for himself, which he used at least twice to let himself inside.

Twice on Feb. 13, Papagikos let himself into the woman’s Freedom Hollow Road home. The first time, prosecutor Michelle DeCourcey said, the woman demanded that he leave.

Later that day, she returned home, checked her closets and made sure her doors were locked. Just as she was about to relax for the evening on her bed, she discovered Papagikos hiding underneath it.

After his arrest, Papagikos asked for a chance to look for a phone number in his cellphone, which had been taken by officers.

Instead, they discovered that he was sending text messages to the woman: “Unreal. Thank you for this,” and “Jail. No bail. Assault? Stole from you? Thanks for lying.” Police added a charge of witness intimidation to the list of breaking and entering, larceny, and assault charges.

Months later, while out on bail in that and other cases, Papagikos was arrested at Middleton’s Candlelite Motor Inn after attempting to pay his room bill with five fake $20 bills, money he admitted yesterday was printed on a laptop computer and printer that was found in the motel room.

During his arrest, police found additional fake money, as it fell from the bottom of his pants legs while he was being led through the Middleton police station, according to a police report. They also found partially printed $20 bills along with the computer and printer.

Defense lawyer Neil Hourihan said his client had developed an addiction to the stimulant drug Adderall, a drug most commonly prescribed for children suffering attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“It dictated every move in his life,” Hourihan said.

Papagikos lost his job as a firefighter last year for failing to maintain his emergency medical technician certificate, the Lynn Item reported in July. He had also been charged with stealing a credit card from a fellow firefighter.

Hourihan said he expects those charges to be resolved within the next month in Lynn District Court.

While on probation, Papagikos will be required to undergo a drug abuse evaluation and any treatment recommended by his probation officer, as well as complete a batterer’s treatment program.

The sentence was the result of a plea agreement accepted by Judge Michael Lauranzano yesterday.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.