Small fish caught

WESTFIELD – While city police doubtless prefer to snag the “big fish” in their never-ending war on the heroin scourge, small time dealers are nonetheless on their radar and sent before the judge whenever opportunity presents itself.
Such an opportunity presented itself to Det. Timothy Grady Tuesday when he spotted a familiar face, Savuth Vith, 25, a homeless man who is well known to Grady and many other city officers as a long-time heroin user and part-time dealer, riding as a passenger in car traveling on Mechanic Street.
Grady reports in a court document that he had recently heard that Vith has been again selling heroin in the city so he followed the car to a Cleveland Street address where officers believe residents sometimes sell heroin.
Vith was seen to leave the car and enter the house. After a short time, a period consistent with a typical narcotics transfer, Vith returned to the car together with another man well-known to the officers.
Grady reports “Savuth Vith and Jusue Rios (25, also homeless) are well-known to me as I have investigated both in the past for narcotic-related violations. I have also arrested both and have worked investigations where an undercover officer was able to purchase narcotics from both individuals.”
Grady and Det. Brian Freeman, during their surveillance, established that the car the three men were in had not been inspected and arranged for an officer in a marked police cruiser to stop the car.
The operator, Chad Sullivan, 33, of 47.5 Shepard St., acknowledged that his license had been suspended because he owed child support and he was arrested.
Grady asked Sullivan what he had been doing on Cleveland Street and he said that someone had “picked up” there but he did not know who. When asked what was “picked up”, Sullivan said that someone had picked up heroin which he referred to as “H”.
When Grady turned his attention to the passengers still in Sullivan’s car, he found “Both Vith and Rios were very nervous and acting evasively” but a frisk revealed that Vith had hidden four bags of heroin in a sock. Rios then, Grady reports, “kicked off his right shoe and heroin (19 bags) was found inside the sock.”
When Grady returned to Sullivan and told him of the heroin he had taken from the man’s passengers, “Sullivan lifted his left foot and stated that the heroin (was) in his sock.”
After booking, Sullivan told Grady that Vith had called asking if he wanted to buy heroin. When he indicated his interest, Grady was told, Sullivan took Vith to Cleveland Avenue where he entered a house.
When Vith returned with Rios, “Vith handed Sullivan three bags of heroin and Sullivan handed Vith twenty dollars.”
The three men were arraigned yesterday in Westfield District Court before Judge Philip A. Contant.
Sullivan, charged with possession of a Class A drug and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, was released on his personal recognizance pending a June 26 hearing.
Vith, charged with distribution of a Class A drug, was released on $2,500 personal surety pending a hearing, also on June 26.
Rios was charged with possession of a Class A drug with intent to distribute and was held in lieu of $500 cash bail. He is also scheduled to return to court on June 26.

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