PEABODY — A Peabody man is facing federal charges of methamphetamine distribution. 

Ryan Ouellette, 31, of 144 Shore Drive, Apt. K, is being held without bail in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Friday. 

According to an affidavit filed in the case, investigators in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and United States Postal Inspection Service learned about Ouellette through someone who had seen him with both a large quantity of methamphetamine and a gun.

Investigators used a cooperating witness to make a series of purchases of the drug, a synthetic stimulant, from Ouellette, according to the affidavit written by an ATF agent. 

The purchases were secretly audio and video recorded. One took place in the common-area laundry room of the apartment complex where Ouellette lives; the agent said video shows Ouellette reaching into a drop ceiling in that room to retrieve the meth to sell to the cooperating witness for $1,200. A second deal, two ounces for $2,400, allegedly took place in a car while the witness was giving Ouellette a ride to downtown Peabody.

The third deal, involving three ounces, took place in March, following a series of text messages. The witness was directed to meet someone at the Best Western Plus in Danvers. The affidavit noted that there was a child in the hotel room at the time. 

Ouellette was arrested April 16 in Peabody and made his initial appearance that afternoon in U.S. District Court in Boston, where a judge advised him of the charges and appointed a federal defender. 

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

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