WEST YARMOUTH – Barnstable and Yarmouth Narcotic Detectives searched an apartment at 85 Route 28 yesterday, and what they found was alarming…
… and deadly.
According to a BPD press release, over the past two months, Barnstable and Yarmouth Narcotic Detectives learned about and began to investigate the distribution of Cocaine, along with a bluish gray powder believed to be a combination of heroin, Fentanyl, and “U-47700.”
This bluish gray powdery cocktail concerned detectives because it reportedly has caused multiple recent overdoses.
U-47700 is a synthetic opioid linked to numerous overdose deaths across the country.
Detectives began extensive surveillance on a 57-year-old Hyannis/Yarmouth man named Charles MacDougald. Several undercover purchases of the deadly drugs were made.
The investigation was initiated by BPD Det. Sgt Mark Butler and BPD Patrol Officer Kyle Phelan.
Yesterday, 9/18/17, BPD and YPD detectives executed a search warrant at MacDougald’s residence at 85 Rt 28 (apt 14) in West Yarmouth, where they seized approximately 26 grams of the bluish/gray powder that field tested positive as Fentanyl. They also seized approximately 12 grams of cocaine. Detectives also recovered packaging materials, diluting agents, and approximately $3800 in cash.
Macdougald and Vaughnessa Dinger-Jones (age 20 of Onset… booking photo below…) were placed under arrest in the apartment, and both suspects were transported to the BPD.
Macdougald was charged with Trafficking Fentanyl, Possession of Cocaine W/Intent to Distribute/Subsequent offense, and being an Armed Career Criminal.
Dinger-Jones was charged with Possession of Fentanyl and Cocaine.
Both suspects were arraigned in Barnstable District Court this morning (9/19).
Note: Macdougald has an extensive criminal history with numerous convictions for violent crimes dating back to 1995.
MacDougald was recently released from a 7 year prison sentence for Armed Robbery and is currently on Barnstable Superior Court probation for Armed Home Invasion.
HN has reached out to Barnstable Detectives to find out whether they believe Macdougald sold opioids responsible for any fatal overdoses… and if so, will they be looking into some type of homicide charge?
According to Barnstable Deputy Police Chief Sean Balcom, no fatal overdoses have been specifically traced back to him, at this point.
Deputy Chief Balcom points out others are also selling the same type of bluish/gray powder, which may be U-47700.
If it is U-47700, it will be the first time Deputy Chief Balcom has seen it on the Cape and it could be a huge issue going forward.
The Deputy Chief explained that it was a lot to discuss via email, but a “homicide charge is much more difficult than one would think.” He touched upon some of the many challenges, from jurisdictional issues to the Massachusetts laws as they related to proving a manslaughter.
The Deputy Chief gave a recent example where his detectives spent hundreds of hours on a local overdose where they were able to trace the source of the Fentanyl to a specific Cape dealer… and then back to a “specific source of supply” dealer in Dartmouth. They developed a solid case on him and felt they had a decent shot of a manslaughter charge… but months later the Medical Examiner report came back showing the cause of death on the death certificate to be not just Fentanyl intoxication.
HN NOTE: It’s good to see that Barnstable detectives are looking into the possibility of homicide charges related to the sale of substances which cause overdose deaths. Many believe homicide charges will not only provide justice for overdose victims and families, but will also ensure convicted dealers remain off our streets due to the likelihood of much longer sentences. HN believes it’s just a matter of time before some Massachusetts law enforcement agency is able to bring a successful manslaughter case before our courts… perhaps even putting a damper on our recent spike in life-threatening overdoses due to these illicit poisons.