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By Brian Fraga
Standard-Times staff writer
November 06, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD - A convicted cocaine trafficker who jumped bail during his trial last year was caught recently in Fall River.
Luis Melendez, 34, of New Bedford was found late last week by state police Trooper David Reis of the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section.
Mr. Melendez was sentenced Monday in New Bedford Superior Court to serve 10 years in state prison, followed by a two-year sentence in the Dartmouth House of Corrections.
He will be arraigned at a later date for failure to appear in court, the district attorney's office said.
On Nov. 15, 2007, after a three-day trial, Mr. Melendez was convicted of trafficking in more than 100 grams of cocaine in a school zone.
He did not appear for the verdict. Judge Robert Kane immediately issued a warrant for his arrest.
Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, said investigators followed up several leads on his whereabouts, which included him being in New Jersey.
Trooper Reis, who recently was named Trooper of the Year for his fugitive tracking successes, tracked Mr. Melendez to a Fall River apartment late last week.
On Nov. 4, 2005, New Bedford police arrested Mr. Melendez at his city home. While executing a search warrant, police seized 174.9 grams of cocaine packaged for street sales and other drug paraphernalia, including a sifter, plastic bags and scales, court records said.
Assistant District Attorney Steve Butts, chief of the district attorney's drug unit, prosecuted the case.
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