Addiction in Franklin County
Components of a portable meth lab seized by police. 
Photo courtesy of Athol Police Department

Portable meth lab found in Athol car

Monday, October 27, 2014

ATHOL — Police discovered a portable methamphetamine lab in Athol Friday, a possible first in the area. Athol police arrested Joseph Hamel, 28, and subsequently called the State Police Fire and Explosion Unit and the Drug Enforcement Agency to remove a portable meth lab from the back of his mother’s car. Methamphetamine labs are famously combustible. Crystal methamphetamine is an … 0

How can school nurses help prevent substance abuse?

Friday, October 24, 2014

GREENFIELD — The key to combating the opioid addiction crisis is preventing substance abuse whether it is alcohol, cigarettes or painkillers, the region’s school nurses were told Friday. “Young people are making choices in a context,” said Marisa Hebble of the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region. “There is a relationship between prescription drug misuse and the use … 0

Two in custody, two on the run after Turners gunpoint robbery

Thursday, October 2, 2014

TURNERS FALLS — Police are looking for a Greenfield man who fled a gunpoint robbery on a moped and his unknown accomplice. Sebret “Benny” Sanchez, 21, and a man known to police only as “Hood” are wanted in connection with the Wednesday afternoon armed robbery and beating of a husband and wife from Warren. Sanchez is 5 feet, 11 inches tall, 180 to … 0

Andrews a lone vote against tougher heroin sentences

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

ORANGE — North Quabbin legislator Denise Andrews has come under fire for being the only member of the House of Representatives to vote against toughening penalties for heroin trafficking. The Republican candidate for the Second Franklin District House seat now held by Andrews has criticized the incumbent for … 3

Two arrested, syringes found in stolen car

Monday, August 4, 2014

GREENFIELD — Two Vermont men found themselves in handcuffs after police noticed the registration of the car they were in was expired. State trooper Ryan Czepiel pulled a Dodge Caravan over on the Mohawk Trail at about 1:59 p.m. Sunday for the expired registration, and quickly found out … 0

Vermont man arrested after struggle, chase

Thursday, July 31, 2014

DEERFIELD — A Vermont man facing heroin dealing charges and a slew of other offenses allegedly asked the Lord for help before fighting a state trooper and leading police on a high-speed chase that ended with him locking the doors of his disabled car and lighting a cigarette, … 0

Detox, stabilization treatment centers coming to Franklin County to help fight opioid addiction

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

After years fighting a growing opioid addiction problem with no local detox option but a jail cell or a bed on the hospital’s mental health floor reserved for the suicidal, the drug detoxification center promised by Gov. Deval Patrick took a step closer to reality this week. And … 0

Franklin County, Athol work to monitor their own overdoses

Friday, July 18, 2014

How do you deal with a problem you can’t pin down until years after the fact? Those seeking to address the heroin problem in this area are not content to live with that situation, so a system is being put into place to provide numbers on overdoses years … 0

Alleged heroin trafficker arraigned in Superior Court

Friday, July 18, 2014

GREENFIELD — Heroin trafficking charges against a Westfield man have been brought before Franklin Superior Court. Antonio Rivera III, 28, also known as “Gizmo,” of 9 Leonard St. in Westfield, pleaded innocent to charges of trafficking in heroin … 0

Jail staff finds hidden drug

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

GREENFIELD — Several people are facing drug charges after county jail employees uncovered a variety of schemes to smuggle an addiction-fighting drug into the facility. Though they are charged in three separate cases, they all share similar elements. … 0

Drug treatment for Franklin, N. Quabbin in state budget

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Both Franklin County and the North Quabbin area will have money for new detox facilities to combat drug addiction, once the latest state budget is signed into law. In the North Quabbin region, $1 million in the public health service budget is designated for a new mental health, … 0

Buckland woman arrested on heroin, child endangerment charges

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TURNERS FALLS — A woman was arrested after allegedly using heroin at a local park with two children in her car. Candace Caswell, 34, of 15 School St., Buckland, was arrested Monday on charges of possession of heroin and reckless endangerment of children. She was found when police … 0

Two arrested for alleged heroin use in Greenfield’s Hillside Park

Friday, June 27, 2014

GREENFIELD — A local man and woman face heroin charges after an alert citizen reported suspicious activity in Hillside Park in the early hours. Sarah McLaughlin, 32, of 128 Old Albany Road, pleaded innocent Friday in Greenfield District Court to charges of possession of heroin, possession of a … 0

Man facing heroin charges threatened suicide in back of cruiser

Friday, June 27, 2014

BERNARDSTON — A Connecticut man arrested on charges of heroin trafficking attempted to take his own life while in police custody, according to state troopers. State police reported that Vincent Paris, 38, of Hamden, Conn., tried to strangle himself in the back of the cruiser while en route … 0

Bernardston traffic stop results in heroin charges

Thursday, June 26, 2014

BERNARDSTON — State Police took more than 250 bags of heroin, as well as packaging materials and several grams of the unpackaged drug off the streets in an Interstate 91 traffic stop Thursday. Vincent Paris, 38, of Hampden, Conn., was arrested on a charge of trafficking in heroin, … 0