Police charge two men over alleged drug dealing outside Tewksbury business

TEWKSBURY – Police arrested two men on Tuesday after detectives carrying out surveillance in the city observed suspected drug trafficking outside a gas station on Andover Street.

Craig Pickering, 59, of Manchester, NH, was charged with three separate counts of possession with intent to distribute after he was found with 4 grams of fentanyl, 1 gram of cocaine and 25 strips of Suboxone, according to a statement. press release from Tewksbury Police .

Police also charged Jason Ricciarelli, 42, of Lowell with possession of cocaine.

At the time of Ricciarelli’s arrest on Tuesday, police said he was wanted on a warrant issued by Lowell District Court. Documents available to the court say the warrant, issued last August, came after he failed to appear in court for threatening to commit a crime – a charge he received after allegedly threatening to kill another man and his dog.

Around 6 p.m. Tuesday, police said detectives were conducting a lookout in the Circle K area of ​​1795 Andover St. when they spotted what they believe was a drug transaction between a person in a vehicle and an employee of a neighboring company.

Police say detectives stopped the vehicle – which had a broken headlight – and identified Pickering as the driver.

In addition to the drugs, police said they discovered a digital scale, plastic bags and other drug paraphernalia inside Pickering’s vehicle. Police reports indicate that Pickering claimed he had a prescription for the Suboxone strips, but was unable to provide evidence.

Court documents also say Pickering has a “significant history of narcotics offences”, including cases pending in the Superior Courts of Middlesex and Lowell District.

Police said Ricciarelli – whom detectives identified as the employee involved in the alleged drug dealing with Pickering – was determined by police to have an outstanding warrant. Court documents indicate that while in police custody, Ricciarelli admitted to police that he was in possession of a quantity of cocaine which he had purchased and secreted into his buttocks. The drug was successfully retrieved.

According to court documents, Ricciarelli’s tenure follows a confrontation which occurred in the parking lot of Towne Place Suites, 20 International Place, Tewksbury, in August 2020.

During the confrontation, police heard Ricciarelli threatening to kill another man and his dog, according to court documents.

Ricciarelli, who was charged with threatening to commit a crime (murder), was one of three men arrested in the incident. After Ricciarelli allegedly failed to appear in Lowell District Court last August, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

For his latest charge, as well as the warrant, Ricciarelli was arraigned in Lowell District Court on Wednesday by Judge John Coffey. He was released on his own recognizance, with a return date set for August 10.

Pickering will be arraigned at a later date.

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis.

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