Surveillance leads to Memorial Day arrests

SOUTHBRIDGE — Police apprehended a pair of well-known alleged drug users on Monday, charging each with possession of heroin.

According to a Friday afternoon press release, the Southbridge Police Department arrested Joaquin Rosario and Walter Serrano on Memorial Day while conducting surveillance in a high crime area after numerous complaints of frequent street-level drug deals in the undisclosed area. Police said it was at approximately 5:30 p.m. that “officers observed three male subjects who are all known users of narcotics walking in the area,” and “observed an exchange of items suspected to be narcotics between the men.”

Following the transactions, police approached each of the men. Rosario, aged 48, was asked by police if he was in possession of an illegal substance. According to police, Rosario responded: “I don’t think so… these are not my pants” and “if you find any drugs, I didn’t know they were there.” During further investigation, two folded purple wax envelopes containing suspected heroin was recovered on Rosario and he was subsequently placed under arrest.

While patrol officers were placing Rosario under arrest, 47-year-old Walter Serrano allegedly began yelling at patrol officers and became increasingly aggressive. Police said Serrano was immediately placed in handcuffs for officer safety and numerous packets of suspected heroin were found in his possession. The third male subject was released because he was not in possession of any illegal narcotics.

Rosario and Serrano were transported to police headquarters where they were booked and charged. Rosario, of 68 North Street, was charged with possession of a class A heroin, subsequent offense. Serrano, of 32 Everett Street, was charged with possession of a class A heroin. Both were held at Southbridge Police Headquarters pending bail and/or their arraignment in Dudley District Court on Tuesday, May 29. Arresting officers were Patrol Officers Richard Reddick, Darren Dodge, and Eric Raymond.

Rosario is no stranger to Southbridge Police, having previously been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in 2010, assault and battery and disturbing the peace in 2010, and more.

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