WHITMAN — A drug arrest was made in Whitman July 20 in conjunction with the WEB Task Force after a month-long investigation.
The WEB Task Force combines the investigation efforts of officers from West Bridgewater, Whitman, East Bridgewater, Bridgewater and Bridgewater State University.
Samuel Rutledge, 28, of 50 Center St., Brockton, was identified by West Bridgewater Officer Sean Devilly, and Whitman officers Paul Young and Peter Aitken as the Fentanyl supplier to various customers in this region.
Rutledge was an alleged dealer utilizing various female drivers to transport and deliver the narcotics.
On Thursday, July 20, investigators assigned to the task force observed Rutledge engage in what was believed to be a narcotics transaction in Whitman. Detectives then stopped Rutledge and the female who was driving Rutledge to the narcotics transaction, according to a police statement. He had possession of what was suspected to be Fentanyl and crack cocaine, which was packaged for resale, according to a prepared press release from the WEB Task Force. The estimated street value of the seized drugs was approximately $3,000.
“The pairing of crack cocaine and Fentanyl is problematic for investigators and health care workers as there has been a noticeable increase in overdoses due to the coupling of these two narcotics,” police stated. “Investigators and Health Care experts have noticed that traditional cocaine users are overdosing on what they believe to be Fentanyl instead of cocaine.”
Rutledge was charged with trafficking a class B substance, distribution of a class B substance three counts, possession with intent to distribute a class B Substance – Fentanyl and one count of trafficking more than ten grams of Fentanyl. He was arraigned on July 20. The Commonwealth requested $50,000 bail. Judge Bernard set bail at $25,000 along with the requirement to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet. A probable cause hearing is set for Aug. 18.
The driver Christina Justiniano, 31,who gave her address as Weymouth during booking — but was identified as from 126 Nicholson Drive, Brockton in the WEB relase —was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the drug law. She was also arraigned on July 20 and is due back to court Sept. 7. She was given a bail warning.