Busted: DPD arrests alleged heroin dealer through controlled buys
Adrian J. Mark, 26, was arrested Monday after police completed an investigation based on two separate controlled buys with an informant.
DILLINGHAM: Adrian Jeffrey Mark, 26, was arrested Monday afternoon in Dillingham on charges he had twice sold heroin to a police confidential informant. Based on a prior felony conviction, Mark faces a presumptive five to eight years of jail time for each of the two new drug charges, if convicted.
Dillingham Police Chief Dan Pasquariello described a careful investigation over several months, using a confidential informant, warrants to monitor conversations, and two controlled buys conducted under observation by himself and Officer Bill Bauer.
“We couldn’t have made this arrest without the informant,” said Pasquariello. The confidential informant, or C.I., purchased a “nif” of heroin on two separate occasions from Mark while the officers watched. The heroin, wrapped tightly in foil, cost $100 each. The purchases were made on April 2 and May 6, and Pasquariello said the state crime lab confirmed both substances were heroin.
With the evidence collected, police were granted a warrant for Mark’s arrest, and picked him up Monday afternoon. He was arraigned on the two felony charges of second degree misconduct involving a controlled substances on Tuesday morning.
Patty Luckhurst, who said she has watched Mark grow up and even hired him to work in the Dillingham Middle/High School cafeteria when he was a student, attended the arraignment and admonished him.
“Jeffrey so many of us have loved and coddled you for so long -- you’ve disappointed us so much,” she said when the hearing was over.
“I know Patty, I just got caught up, man,” Mark said as the court officer led him away.
Magistrate Judge Tina Reigh agreed with the state prosecutor’s recommendation of $10,000 plus a third party custodian for Mark’s terms of bail.
Mark’s arrest for dealing heroin is the first since December.
In related news, the drug dealing case against Vaughn Clark, 39, who was arrested last October, will move forward. That's according to a ruling last week by Judge Pat Douglass, after Clark’s attorney Cynthia Strout challenged the way the police had made contact with her client the day of the arrest.
Strout had argued that the informant who had told a probation officer she had bought and used heroin with Vaughn Clark that day was of the “criminal milieu”, and that her information needed to be corroborated, which Strout said police had not done. She also argued that the police did not have reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop, pointing out differences in the recollection of the day’s events by the three law enforcement officers involved.
In a 23-page ruling, Judge Douglass denied both motions to suppress, saying in the first that the informant’s tip was corroborated by law enforcement’s observations prior to and during the vehicle stop and arrest. To the second motion, Douglass said the information the officers had that day was enough to establish reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, and probable cause for the arrest.
Although the evidence collected against Clark has been upheld for now, those close to the case say it is far from a ‘slam-dunk’. The narcotics and paraphernalia collected in the vehicle were allegedly located in a backpack in the rear, not adjacent to Clark’s seat, which the defense is likely to argue could have belonged to any of the occupants. The prosecution has the testimony of the informant who said she bought and used heroin with Clark, but this was not observed by police.
In contrast, with the Adrian Mark investigation, Pasquariello intended to avoid any hasty moves until the case against him was more comprehensive.
“We took our time on this one,” he said.
A pre-indictment hearing on the felony charges against Mark is scheduled for June 10.
*This article has been corrected to reflect that Mark's arrest was the not the first since Vaughn Clark, as originally reported. A Dillingham woman was arrested under similar law enforcement techniques in December.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907.842.5281.