On Saturday, December 3rd, 2011; members of the Lowell PD’s Special Investigations Section (SIS) under the command of Lt. Barry Golner, were involved in an investigation related to illegal narcotics distribution. Shortly after 12:10 p.m., police stopped Freddie Morales-Lugo, 30, of Haverhill who was operating a blue Mitsubishi Endeavor on Plain Street inLowell. After being assisted by a police narcotic K-9 unit, detectives found approximately 472 grams of cocaine and a loaded 9mm handgun within a “mechanical hide” located inside the vehicle. Morales-Lugo was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine (Over 200 grams), Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm, Possession of Ammunition, Possession of a Large Capacity (firearm) Feeding Device, and Trafficking in Cocaine within 1000 feet of a School Zone (Laura Lee Public School).
A short time later and related to this investigation, SIS detectives, while conducting surveillance of16 Barclay StreetinLowell; had the occasion to encounter a 10-year-old boy who was seen exiting 16 Barclay Street in Lowell and carrying a bag. With the assistance of a police narcotic K-9 Unit, detectives found the bag to contain a small amount of cocaine, $3000.00 in cash, and items consistent in the illegal sale of narcotics. Police allege that the boy’s aunt, Yina Gonzalez, 30, of16 Barclay Streethad sent her nephew with the items in the bag across the street to hide the evidence from the police. Yina Gonzalez was arrested and charged with Distribution of Cocaine to a Minor.
Detectives later obtained and executed a search warrant at16 Barclay Street. During the search, detectives recovered a .357 caliber handgun, cash, cocaine, ammunition, and other items consistent with the illegal sale of narcotics. Yina Gonzalez was also charged with Trafficking in Cocaine (Over 200 grams), Trafficking in Cocaine within 1000 feet of a School Zone (MollyPublic School), Possession of a Firearm, Possession of Ammunition, and Unlawful Storage of a Firearm. Freddie Morales-Lugo and Yina Gonzalez were also charged with Conspiracy to Violate the Narcotics Laws.
The Department of Child Services was notified and will investigate the matter related to the 10-year-old boy. Both defendants are expected to be arraigned on Monday in Lowell District Court.
“I applaud the excellent work by the officers and detectives involved in this investigation. It’s simply outrageous and a sad commentary on society that adults would allegedly use and ultimately abuse a child in their alleged secreting of illegal narcotic evidence. We will be working closely with the District Attorney’s Office to ensure these individuals are prosecuted within the full extent of the law,” said Superintendent Ken Lavallee of the Lowell Police Department.
These charges are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.