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Chief: Boy called police to say father had drugs in luggage

20 May 2017, 12:07 | Marion Schneider

NEWSChief Boy called police to say father had drugs in luggage Email none

Chief Boy called police to say father had drugs in luggage

A Ferry Street man turned himself into Lawrence police Thursday evening - a night after his 11-year-old son was rummaging through his luggage and came across of what's believed to be bags of illegal drugs. Officers estimated the drugs to be worth about $8,500. They said the 11-year-old called 911 and told them, "I think my dad sells drugs".

Mercado is now expected to be arraigned on major drug trafficking and child endangerment charges on Friday in Lawrence District Court. "He understands that this kind of lifestyle for his father isn't what is working", said Lawrence police Chief James Fitzpatrick, who added that the presence of powerful drugs in the home - let alone the criminal lifestyle - posed a threat to the boy.

"I commend this young man for being fearless enough to come forward and report that these risky substances were in his home".

The drugs were packaged in five sandwich bags hidden inside the luggage.

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The boy has since been placed under care of his grandmother.

"I get chills", neighbor Susan Duarte said. "I don't even know if he's fully cognizant of how important that is, and what he was able to accomplish by doing so".

Across the country, opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 2000. Heroin and drug-related overdoses spiked by 20 percent in 2014 in Pennsylvania, according to Penn Live.

Cops also told the boy they would protect him: "We said that we would keep an eye on his house", Fitzpatrick said. "Eventually prescriptions expire or run out and people resort to buying pain pills on the street or from others". "From there, it is a sad downhill process".



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