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Judge Determines Lowell Fentanyl Dealer is Dangerous

January 22, 2019
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LOWELL -- A Lowell man accused of selling fentanyl out of his apartment inside the Edge Merrimack River building, a private dormitory near Lowell High School, was found dangerous in Lowell District Court Tuesday.

Jonathan Gacek, 27, of 1 Merrimack Plaza, was ordered held without bail for 120 days expiring on May 17.

“The defendant does pose a danger in the community and that danger is trafficking fetanyl,” said Assistant District Attorney Andre Ineson, citing frequent overdoses in the city.

Gacek was arrested on Jan. 12 after police executed a warrant to search his apartment and found 36 grams of fentanyl in his dresser drawer, over three times the minimum amount for trafficking charges, Ineson said. Police also found $598 in cash in one of his pants pockets and an electronic scale, according to court documents.

The prosecutor said a “confidential informant” told police they consistently purchased fentanyl from Gacek. On two separate occasions police organized purchases of fetanyl from the defendant, Ineson said.

Gacek told officers he knew he had fetanyl in his drawer and “middled deals” to make money, according to a police report.

Ineson said in August 2016 police investigated a Willow Street address where they believe Gacek was involved in selling oxycodone. During a search of this residence in on September 1, 2016, police found Percocet pills and over $1,000 in cash, Ineson said.

“This is not a the first time they’ve had an active investigation into this defendant.

Defense attorney Patrick Richard opposed the inclusion of several pieces of evidence brought forward by the prosecutor citing “issues in the Lowell Police Department regarding false testimony.” The judge overruled his opposition.

Richard said his client is a “drug addicted person.” He said Gacek’s history in the court system is “very limited.”

The prosecutor argued Gacek has a “history of warrants.” Court documents show Gacek has active warrants out of Lawrence and Ayer. In a separate, continued case, Gacek faces charges of operating under the influence, according to Ineson.

Gacek’s attorney asked for his client to be released to live with his mother in Lowell with a curfew and other restrictions.

Inesone argued Gacek was selling fetanyl from his home and conditions on his release would not make him less of a threat

Gacek’s next court date in Lowell District Court is Feb. 19.

The apartment where Gacek lived, Edge Merrimack River, across the street from Lowell High School, was a $40 million project billed as a private dormitory and developed by Vision Properties.

The building had trouble recruiting University of Massachusetts Lowell students when it opened. The university also raised concerns with students living with non-students and advertising for the building describing it as a place where students could “live life on the edge.”

A UMass Lowell spokesperson Christine Gillette said Gacek is not a student at UMass Lowell and no students of the university were involved in the incident.

Follow Elizabeth Dobbins on Twitter @ElizDobbins

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