Peabody man charged in fentanyl, firearms case

Guns, ammunition, fentanyl, cash and drug paraphernalia seized in a search that followed a 10-month investigation by Peabody police. Courtesy/photo

PEABODY — A Peabody man who has already done jail time on prior gun charges was arrested Tuesday morning on charges that he was selling fentanyl, following a nearly 10-month investigation by Peabody police detectives. 

Shawn C. Spaneas, 26, of 50 Warren St., Apt. 510, is due to be arraigned Wednesday in Peabody District Court on fentanyl trafficking and multiple firearms charges, police said. 

Spaneas was arrested at around 6 a.m., when police armed with a search warrant showed up at his apartment. 

That search turned up 171 grams (a little over 6 ounces) of fentanyl, said by police to have a street value of $18,000; two loaded handguns, one a .38 revolver and the other a .22 semi-automatic; 39 rounds of ammunition; $31,460 in cash; and paraphernalia used in packaging and selling drugs.  

Peabody detectives had been making undercover purchases of fentanyl from the apartment, then obtained a search warrant, Capt. Dennis Bonaiuto said in press release. 

A SWAT team from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council was also brought in for the search. 

Spaneas is charged with two counts each of possessing a firearm in commission of a felony, carrying a firearm without a license (second offense); improper storage of a firearm and possessing ammunition without a license; as well as trafficking in fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute a class B drug and illegal possession of fireworks. 

Police Chief Thomas Griffin called Peabody a very safe community, "but unfortunately there are those who seek to profit from people who are battling addiction."

Spaneas was previously arrested in September 2016, after a routine traffic stop in Salem for a broken tail light led to the discovery of a handgun tucked into a seat pocket in the car he was driving. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail for illegal possession of a handgun after pleading guilty the following year. 

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