MANCHESTER, NH — Two men were arrested May 28 for allegedly taking a toddler with them while they bought heroin in a local Rite Aid parking lot.
Arrested were Christopher Cortez, 31, and Zachary Person, 32, both of Manchester.
According to a police narrative, Detectives Mark Harrington and Aaron Brown of the Special Enforcement Division were conducting surveillance at 27 Prospect St. at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night when they observed a Silver Lincoln pull in front of the address. The vehicle was occupied by three adults and one child.
Detectives noticed the driver, Cortez, get out of the vehicle and meet with another man in the front of the address. The two men walked into the address and exited after a brief period of time. Their behavior is consistent with those involved in purchasing and/or selling illegal drugs.
The detectives watched Cortez enter the vehicle and drive away from the Prospect Street home. They followed his vehicle into the Rite Aid parking lot, 1631 Elm Street and observed Person exit the passenger seat and enter the store.
The detectives focused on the driver and observed his furtive movements, consistent with someone they believed to be engaging in using an illegal substance. They also noted Cortez was not interacting with the rear passenger (an unidentified female) as he appeared to be solely focused on the contents on his lap. Furthermore, they noticed the female looking around nervously as Cortez conducted his business in the front seat of the vehicle.
At this time Person entered the vehicle and started to act in a similar manner to Cortez. The detectives immediately walked up to the vehicle and displayed their badges, which were hanging around their necks. They identified themselves as police officers and requested for the occupants to display their hands. The driver and rear passenger complied, but Person allegedly refused to show his hands while attempting to conceal an item on the passenger’s side door.
All occupants were removed from the vehicle, so the detectives could retrieve an item they observed on the driver’s side floor board. The item, a bag of heroin, contained .2 grams and tested positive with a field test kit. Cortez was placed into custody for possession of a controlled drug (heroin) while detectives searched Person. Person allegedly attempted to conceal a bag of heroin from the detective as he removed his socks and shoes, so he was charged accordingly. Person was charged with possession of a controlled drug (heroin); and falsifying physical evidence. He also had .2 grams of heroin.
The female was released from the scene and the 18-month old was placed in the care of a family member. Both Cortez and Person appeared in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester earlier today.