Inside the tin foil were several layers of plastic wrap coated with dish soap, plastic bags, and finally, numerous small bags of heroin totaling about 205 grams (a little more than 7 ounces).
A drug-sniffing dog later searched the Pacifica after police noticed a piston inside the passenger compartment that didn’t seem to have any function and then found that it controlled a secret compartment tucked behind the air conditioner.
That compartment, like the rest of the vehicle, was stuffed with air fresheners and a towel soaked in cologne or perfume, a trick drug dealers use to throw off the drug dogs, police say. Investigators believe that’s where the drugs were stored when not being sold.
During his booking, police found that Diaz-Carola was carrying an EBT card in the name of a Beverly man who, according to officers, was a known drug user.
Police say drug dealers often take the cards either to use them to obtain cash for payment of drug debts or to hold them as collateral.
Diaz-Carola, who had lost a bid to suppress evidence in the case, was about to stand trial yesterday on a charge of trafficking over 200 grams when he agreed to the plea deal being offered by prosecutors, who reduced the amount to trafficking over 100 grams.
Lowy granted him credit for the year and a half he’s been held in custody awaiting trial in the case.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.