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Rare Loss For TPD: Charges Dismissed Against Alleged Drug Dealers

Jul 09, 2015 04:44PM ● By Bill Gilman

Ryan O'Neil

In a rare loss for the Tewksbury Police Department, drug charges have been dismissed against a local couple because the the substance they sold to an undercover officer was not actually heroin.

Prosecutors dismissed multiple charges against Ryan O'Neil, 25 and Ashley Fichera, 20, both of Tewksbury, after the State Police Crime Lab determined that the powder bought by the undercover officer for $100 was actually turkey seasoning, according to an article published in the Lowell Sun.

O'Neil had been charged with possession of a Class B drug (cocaine, third or subsequent offense) and possession of a Class A drug (heroin) with intent to distribute, third or subsequent offense),

Fichera had been charged with possession of a Class A substance with intent to distribute (heroin) and conspiracy.

According to the article in the Sun, Tewksbury Police had been tipped off that O'Neil was selling heroin and were given his cell phone number. An undercover detective arranged to meet O'Neil and ultimate paid $100 for what he thought was heroin.

After the sale, the two suspects were arrested. In the process, police also found a bag of what appeared to be cocaine.

However, O'Neil claimed he had no drugs. He said the cocaine was actually baking powder and the heroin was turkey seasoning.

While the current charges have been dropped, there is still a chance the suspects could be charged with selling a counterfeit substance.


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