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Easthampton man faces cocaine charges

GREENFIELD — An Easthampton man faces cocaine possession and dealing charges following a traffic stop for speeding in the area of Cheapside and Hope streets.

Greenfield Police charged Joshua Alicea, 22, with possession of cocaine within 300 feet of a school zone with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine and speeding following the stop in the area of Cheapside and Hope streets at 4:19 p.m. Friday.

Greenfield Police Detective Lt. Daniel McCarthy said Alicea had seven rubber glove fingertips containing a total of 95 tiny zip-lock bags of what appeared to be cocaine, with a total weight — including packaging — of approximately 15 grams.

McCarthy said the street value of cocaine is about $800 a gram at the moment, but Alicea told police he paid $10 for the lot, and the field drug test was slower than usual to register a positive.

The substance is bound for laboratory testing.

McCarthy said the proximity to a school zone charge stems from passing by the Greenfield Center School on Montague City Road, which becomes Cheapside.

McCarthy said cocaine arrests are on the rise.

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