Published in the January 26, 2017 edition.

WAKEFIELD — A Wakefield patrolman is being commended commended by Police Chief Rick Smith for his role in roll in initiating an investigation that led to this week’s arrest and arraignment of a Methuen man on felony drug charges.

Police said that on Jan. 11, 2017 Officer John Whaley was on patrol on Salem Street when his attention was drawn to two men that were standing outside of a Toyota Camry that was parked at the Irving gas station. He observed that the two men were looking around nervously while one was manipulating a cell phone. Although they were parked adjacent to a pump, neither individual was pumping gas. Shortly thereafter, according to police, a gray Honda Accord pulled up next to them. One of the males entered the Accord and then exited after a short period.

Based on his training and experience, Officer Whaley believed that a drug transaction had just taken place. The Honda Accord exited the lot and accelerated onto the highway heading south on Route 128 while the Camry exited and headed east on Salem Street. With additional units in the area, police conducted motor vehicle stops on both cars.

As officers spoke with all parties involved it was clear that their stories were inconsistent with one another, police said. Further investigation by Officer Whaley resulted in his locating several large bundles of money totaling over $6,000 in the Honda Accord. At this time he requested the assistance of a narcotics K9.

Officer Ellenton and K9 Stryka of the Danvers Police Department responded to his location which resulted in the K9 alerting to the dashboard area of the vehicle. Following this the Accord was seized and held at WPD headquarters pending a search warrant application which was later secured by Wakefield Detectives. With additional assistance from the Sergeant Panzini and K9 Xando of the Everett Police Department, a “drug hide” was located behind the center console. Stashed inside of this was over $28,000 cash and 200 Oxycodone pills.

Following this, Wakefield Detectives applied for and secured an arrest warrant for 25 year old Erick Delrosario of Methuen charging him with Drug Trafficking (Over 18 grams of Class B Substance Oxycodone) and Possession with Intent to Distrubute a Class B Substance. He was arraigned this week in Malden District Court.

Chief Rick Smith noted, “This was outstanding work by Officer Whaley which resulted in another large scale drug dealer being taken off of our streets. We also would like to thank both the Danvers and Everett Police Departments for their tremendous assistance with this case.”