Following a crash May 30 near Mashpee Commons, Mashpee police arrested a local man on a heroin distribution charge.
Joshua M. LaFrange, 26, of Tri-Town Circle, Mashpee was arraigned on a charge of possession to distribute a Class A drug in Falmouth District Court on Friday, May 31. Mr. LaFrange was released on personal recognizance but will be subject to drug screenings. He is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing July 8.
Officer Joseph M. Catanese was patrolling the Mashpee Commons on Thursday, May 30, when he heard a loud crash near the intersection of Bates Road at North Martin Street. He observed a gray Nissan Sentra driving away from a damaged Chevrolet Silverado and called for the driver to stop.
During the stop, Officer Catanese observed the two passengers, Mr. LaFrange and Cayla E. Tavares, 27, of Nancy Avenue, East Falmouth, attempt to reach under their seats. He ordered they put their hands up and requested backup.
“I observed Joshua to lower his right hand towards the seat, with a glassine baggie protruding from his hand,” Officer Catanese wrote in his report. “I instructed Josh to open his hand and I observed the glassine baggie fall towards the floor. I observed the baggie to contain a brown, powdery substance, which appeared to be heroin.”
When questioned, Mr. LaFrange said he had “maybe a gram” in his pocket. Following a pat frisk, Officer Catanese wrote that he found two additional bags of heroin in Mr. LaFrange’s right pants pocket. The three baggies were seized as evidence. Police also seized Mr. LaFrange’s cell phone and $398.
Officers Catanese said police searched Ms. Tavares’s bag, in which they found 2 1⁄4 Clonopin pills and a baggie containing Benefiber, which is used as a cutting agent.
Both Mr. LaFrange and Ms. Tavares were arrested. The driver, identified by police as Ashley Bunnell, will be summoned to court for negligent operation of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.
Ms. Tavares was arraigned on charges of possession of a Class A drug and possession of a Class C drug in Falmouth District Court on Friday, May 31. She was released on personal recognizance and is due back in court for a pretrial hearing August 1.