2 arrested, arraigned after police raid

  • Casey Edward Howard, 31, right, was arrested Friday morning after a drug raid at a Main Street apartment. He was in Hampshire Superior Court with defense attorney Alan Rubin on Friday. Caitlin Ashworth

  • Derek Robert Woofenden, 37, was arrested Friday morning after a drug raid at a Main Street apartment. Caitlin Ashworth—

@kate_ashworth
Published: 9/1/2017 10:30:26 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Two Northampton men were arrested early Friday morning after a raid at a downtown apartment where police confiscated a supply of narcotics, guns and ammunition.

As part of an ongoing investigation into the distribution of heroin and oxycodone in the downtown area, Northampton Police in partnership with Northwestern District Attorney’s Office Anti-Crime Task Force and Massachusetts State Police Special Tactical Operations (STOP) Team, served a search warrant at 187 Main St., apartment 3, at 3:35 a.m.

The search led to the arrest of Casey Edward Howard, 31, and Derek Robert Woofenden, 37, on multiple drug charges with intent to distribute.

Police found:

57 bags of heroin;

52 pills of oxycodone;

21 marijuana plants and 5 pounds of marijuana;

One shotgun and one 17mm rifle, as well as four different types of ammunition.

During the investigation, police gathered information showing that Howard, a convicted felon, had an assault-style rifle, according to court records.

The state police STOP team made the initial entry into the apartment, and the scene was quickly secured, according to the Northampton Police Department.

In Howard’s bedroom, police found guns and ammunition, according to court records. In the bathroom, they found 21 marijuana plants, and in the kitchen, bags of heroin and oxycodone, court records show.

The men were arraigned in Northampton District Court Friday afternoon.

Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jeremy Bucci said four different scales were found around the apartment, indicating distribution.

Howard pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of a shotgun, rifle and ammunition without a firearms identification card; firearm violation with two prior violent or drug crimes; possession of heroin, oxycodone and marijuana with intent to distribute; cultivation of a class D substance and conspiracy to violate the drug laws.

Howard is being held on $25,000 bail and could face 10 years in jail if convicted on firearm charges.

“Mr. Howard was indicted for a very serious incident at Thornes Marketplace in 2013, where he engaged in a fight with a police officer and attempted to obtain the police officer’s gun several times during the struggle,” Bucci said.

In that case, Howard was sentenced to two to three years in state prison.

Woofenden, who is being held on $2,500 bail, pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of heroin, oxycodone and marijuana with intent to distribute; cultivation of a class D substance and conspiracy to violate the drug laws.

About eight hours before the police raid, Police Chief Jody Kasper was just a block or two from the Main Street apartment at a candlelight vigil in remembrance of those who have died from opioid overdoses.

With Friday’s raid resulting in arrests and the confiscation of opioids in the ongoing investigation, Kasper said, “I absolutely feel like we are making a difference.”

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.

This story has been updated to reflect the correct court in which the men were arraigned.




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