SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 2, 2013

Police: Rattling gives away suspect's stash

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — A Roxbury man who fled the scene of a car accident on North Street Thursday evening was sentenced yesterday to six months in jail on drug and probation violation charges.

Joel Laskin, 39, may have believed he’d found the perfect hiding places for two pill bottles filled with four prescription drugs, but when police heard rattling during a pat-frisk, it didn’t take long to discover where he’d stashed the pills.

Officers found one bottle tucked into his groin and another in his buttocks, Salem police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski told a Salem District Court judge yesterday.

Police were responding to a car crash on North Street shortly after 7 p.m. on Halloween night when witnesses told Patrolman Dennis Luti that a man had run from the scene. Laskin, who had not been driving, was spotted running toward Bryant Street. When he realized he was being pursued, he ran into a yard and hid behind a bush.

After a struggle with Luti and another patrolman, Eric Gagnon, Laskin was taken into custody.

Laskin, who has a lengthy record of drug offenses and a history of failing to appear in court, has also been wanted by probation officers since last June, when he stopped showing up for meetings with his probation officer.

Laskin initially denied the charges, and told his attorney, Patrick Regan, that he had permission to skip visits to his probation officer. But Judge Matthew Nestor was skeptical. All the parties later agreed to a deal for Laskin to admit to all of the charges and receive a six-month jail term.

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