Police arrest “habitual heroin dealer” in Monson

Anonymous tip leads to charges against Valardi

📸 Monson Police Department photo

MONSON — An anonymous tip to police led to a Saturday afternoon arrest of a woman authorities described as a “habitual heroin dealer.”

According to a statement issued by the Monson Police Department on Saturday night, 37-year-old Joanna Valardi was arrested as law enforcement seized 39 bags of what they believe to be heroin.

The arrest stemmed from an anonymous tip to police “regarding possible drug activity at a residence on Maxwell Road.” Monson Police Detective Adam Szymanski and Officer David Rondeau arrested Valardi after she allegedly sold suspected heroin to two individuals, police said.

Valardi has been charged with two counts of distribution of a class A substance as well as conspiracy to violate the drug law. In addition to the 39 bags of alleged heroin, police seized $180 in cash. Valardi was subsequently held on $25,000 cash bail and transported to Chicopee Women’s Correctional Facility, police reported.

Valardi is scheduled to be arraigned in Palmer District Court on Monday morning.

Police commended the anonymous tipster that help lead authorities to the arrest: “The Monson Police Department appreciates and encourages residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.”

“Habitual heroin dealer”

In Saturday evening’s statement, Monson Police referred to Valardi as a “habitual heroin dealer.” A look at her record includes multiple drug-related charges in the past.

According to a statement issued by the Hardwick/New Braintree Police Department in July 2015, she and Kristen Dubuque had been arrested in Sturbridge with heroin in their vehicle, only for the duo to skip their arraignment and later leading police on a foot pursuit that included Valardi allegedly ending up in the Ware River as part of an attempted escape.

“Valardi was captured on Church Street in Ware after she emerged from the Ware River to meet up with a man she’d called for a ride,” read the 2015 statement. “Valardi is also charged with failure to stop for police and operating after he [sic] license was revoked in connection with an incident … in which she eluded Det. Robert Toupin when he attempted to stop her vehicle.”

In addition to the drug charges, Valardi

In 2017, Valardi was found with cocaine and heroin, charged with an intent to sell both drugs.


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