Inmate charged after smuggling more than an ounce of heroin into jail

Investigators also found Suboxone strips in the man's cell

By Julie Manganis
The Salem News

MIDDLETON, Mass. — An inmate at Middleton Jail has been charged with heroin trafficking after officials say he smuggled more than an ounce of the drug into the facility last month.

William Cruz, 43, of Lynn, was on the toilet, in the process of passing the drugs, when jail officials were tipped off on the morning of Aug. 17, prosecutor Michael Dulany told a Salem District Court judge Friday.

The inmate smuggled more than an ounce of heroin into the jail, officials say. (Photo/P1)
The inmate smuggled more than an ounce of heroin into the jail, officials say. (Photo/P1)

Cruz had just been booked in the night before, following a heroin possession arrest in Lynn, court papers say.

Correctional officers stopped Cruz from flushing the toilet and retrieved a plastic bag wrapped around a number of smaller bags, Dulany said during Cruz’s arraignment. It contained 32.5 grams of heroin, just over an ounce.

Investigators also found Suboxone strips in the cell. Besides heroin trafficking, Cruz is charged with bringing drugs into a correctional facility and with possessing a class B controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Dulany noted that Cruz had recently completed a five-to 51/2-year state prison term for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He asked Judge Matthew Machera to set bail at $75,000 and to revoke his bail in the pending Lynn drug case.

Adam Buckley, who represented Cruz on Friday, told the judge that his client, who suffers from mental illness that has left him disabled, denies that the drugs and other items belonged to him, pointing the finger at a cell mate.

Buckley also said his client was confused by what had happened in the cell and had not received his medications. He asked the judge to set a bail Cruz could afford and not revoke his release in the Lynn case.

Machera set the bail at $50,000 and revoked the prior bail for 90 days, meaning Cruz will remain in custody at least through Dec. 7.

A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Oct. 2, but because trafficking in drugs is a charge beyond the jurisdiction of the district court, the case is expected to be presented to a grand jury for indictment.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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