, Salem, MA

October 1, 2013

Police: Man hides meth in store's pet food aisle

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — BEVERLY — Police say a man was arrested on drug charges Saturday after he walked away from an interview with officers and hid bags of methamphetamine in the pet food aisle of a store on Rantoul Street.

Hector J. Rodriguez, 19, of 27 Home St., Beverly, was arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute class B methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute class D marijuana, according to a department press release.

The incident began as officers in the area of Rantoul and Pleasant streets were attempting to conduct field interviews of two males “believed to be involved in a previous incident that is currently under investigation,” police wrote.

During the interview, one of the males — Rodriguez — walked away from an officer and went into the One Stop Market at 174 Rantoul St., police wrote.

After they finished the interview of the other male, officers went to the market and observed Rodriguez “duck down in between an aisle in the store,” according to the statement.

“After observing this, officers attempted to talk with Rodriguez, who had ducked down in the pet food aisle of the store and initially ignored officers before finally engaging them in conversation,” police wrote. “Rodriguez told officers he went into the store to get a snack.”

Rodriguez was allowed to leave the store, but an officer searched the area he had been in, suspecting he might have “secreted something in the aisle where he had been ducking down,” police wrote.

Police say the officer found two bags of methamphetamine in the store. Later on, five bags of marijuana were reportedly found on Rodriguez himself.