Chief Michael P Murphy
150 Park St.
North Reading, MA 01864
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 16, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
North Reading Police Make Major Drug Arrest Following Long Investigation
Statement of Chief Michael P. Murphy Included
NORTH READING — Police Chief Michael P. Murphy announces that the North Reading Police Department has successfully concluded a long, multi-month investigation into alleged drug sales at a North Reading restaurant, which has resulted in the arrest of a suspect.
“I am extremely proud of the diligent, patient work performed by our North Reading Police Detectives,” Chief Murphy said. “This was a long case that developed over a period of several months that has removed a drug dealer from the community of North Reading. We will continue to aggressively pursue anyone who thinks that they can deal drugs in our community.”
Chief Murphy also praised the teamwork and cooperation shown by partner agencies, including the State Police, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office. and the Southern Middlesex Regional Drug Task Force, which includes several municipal police departments.
“With the partnerships we have formed, and the resource we can bring to bear, anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to test the drug trade in our communities should think twice. This level of cooperation goes far in helping us achieve the results we saw today.”
Late yesterday, North Reading Police and police from partnering agencies arrested Richard “Ricky” Ward, 57, of North Reading, and seized approximately two ounces of cocaine, a pound of marijuana, prescription pills, and steroids.
North Reading Police Detectives began their investigation in December 2013. into allegations that Ward was selling drugs out of a restaurant on Main Street in North Reading. In January, North Reading detectives with the assistance of the Task Force and State Police began a major surveillance operation, focused on Ward and his activities at the restaurant. Undercover officers also posed as restaurant customers looking to buy drugs. Ward was not an employee of the restaurant, but he appeared to frequent the establishment for up to eight hours per day.
Posing as restaurant patrons, undercover officers made multiple drug purchases from Ward, including sales in the restaurant’s bathroom and parking lot, culminating on May 15, when Ward allegedly sold cocaine two separate times to undercover detectives. Ward was arrested later that evening. A search was conducted of Ward’s home, and addition drugs were found there.
Ward has been charged with:
- Five counts of Distribution of a Class B substance (cocaine), subsequent offense
- Trafficking in Cocaine over 36 grams
- Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Class D substance (marijuana), subsequent offense
- Possession of a Class B substance (oxycodone)
- Possession of a Class E substance (anabolic steroids)
- Two counts of Drug Violation within a Park Zone;
Ward was arraigned on the above charges this morning in the Woburn District Court. Further questions should be direct to the Office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
All charges are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.