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Members of the Northern Worcester County Drug Task Force and local police made drug busts over the weekend that spanned three communities and resulted in the confiscation of a kilogram of cocaine, three cars and thousands of dollars in cash.
Marlboro police said it had been 20 years since they made such a large drug bust in their city.

''This is a major dent in the Colombian organization that had a stranglehold in Worcester County,'' said Clinton Police Detective Miguel A. Martinez last night.

The chain of events began Friday night in Clinton, when police arrested three people shortly after 8 p.m. after a search of two vehicles in the CVS parking lot at Main and Brook streets, police said.

Arrested were Jeremy J. Ryder, 25, 303 High St., Apt. 4, Clinton; Diane P. Smith, 44, 303 High St., Apt. 4, Clinton, and Luis A. Roman, 34, 531 Main St., Apt. 304, Worcester.
Officer Martinez said officers working with the task force used a warrant to search the suspects' vehicles. They found approximately 95 grams of cocaine wrapped in 26 small transparent bags in a false bottom of two coffee cans, Officer Martinez said. The drug had a street value of $10,000, he said.

Another search warrant for the Clinton apartment of Ms. Smith and Mr. Ryder yielded $4,800 in cash, he said. Police confiscated the cash, the cocaine and the two vehicles.

Each of them was charged with illegal possession of cocaine; trafficking; conspiracy to violate the controlled substance act; manufacturing, distributing or dispensing of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

The three were being held at the Clinton Police Department headquarters and pending arraignment on the charges in Clinton District Court, most likely this morning.

The Clinton arrests led to an arrest Saturday night in Marlboro, and to an even bigger drug haul, according to Officer Martinez.

Detectives from the Clinton police department had received information that Mauricio Patino, 33, of 25 Oxford Park, Boston, planned to head to Marlboro to sell 500 grams of cocaine, Marlboro Lt. Detective Arthur Brodeur said yesterday.

Investigators from Clinton, Marlboro and the North Worcester County Drug Task Force discovered that a white Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer edition truck would be arriving at the Best Buy store on Donald Lynch Boulevard Saturday ''with a large amount of cocaine for sale,'' Lt. Brodeur said yesterday.

Once the Explorer pulled into the parking lot about 6 p.m., authorities watched it for a while, then stopped the truck and searched it, he said. Inside, detectives found four baseball-sized packages of cocaine, Lt. Brodeur said. The street value of the drugs is about $150,000 to $200,000, he said.

''They were just stashed in the back of the vehicle,'' Lt. Brodeur said. He said it amounted to 519 grams. ''That is the most cocaine seized in Marlboro in 20 years.''

Mr. Patino, a Colombian national, was charged with cocaine trafficking over 200 grams, illegal possession of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He was held in the Marlboro police station on $50,000 cash bail and will be arraigned on the charges today in Marlboro District Court.

Lt. Brodeur said Mr. Patino ''is a frequent visitor'' to Marlboro. He said he hoped this recent bust will ''restrict the funnel of flow'' of cocaine into the city.

Police also got a search warrant for Mr. Roman's home in Worcester. There they found 400 grams of cocaine, worth $40,000, and $3,800 in cash, Officer Martinez said.

Lt. Brodeur credited the hard work by the task force, Clinton police and Marlboro police detectives Stephan Lupien and Jack Manning.

Karen Nugent of the Telegram & Gazette staff contributed to this report.

Nice grab. :lol:
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