Police say Peter Hodge, 32, of Newport, New Hampshire, Andrea Snelling, 29, of Newport, Brian Cheddar, 27, of Claremont, and Shawn Perry, 24, of Unity, have been flooding the streets with cocaine. They were arrested last week after a five month investigation by New Hampshire's drug task force.
"The cocaine came to about 23 ounces, we had about 13 ounces of marijuana, $20,000 in cash, several fire arms, so this represents a very significant drug enterprise," explained Sullivan County Prosecutor Marc Hathaway.
Some of the drugs and a rifle were found inside Cheddar's house on Martha Street-- a quiet neighborhood just outside downtown Claremont. Court papers say some of the defendants were caught doing street deals in other parts of Claremont.
"Is there a drug problem in this community? I think it is fair to say that there is a drug problem in the northeast. Certainly in Vermont and New Hampshire and we are not immune from that in Sullivan County," said Claremont Police Chief Alexander Scott.
Scott credits New Hampshire's Attorney General's office for helping to make dent in the drug problem. The chief says that the cooperation between the local and state agencies in the Drug Task Force was key in building the case.
"The volume of cocaine involved in these arrests is significant and should have a significant impact of the availability of cocaine not only in Claremont, but in Sullivan County," said Scott.
Authorities say this is the largest drug bust in Sullivan County in the last 20 years and police say the arrests send a clear message that this type of illegal activity will not be accepted in this community.
All four suspects are being held for lack of bail.
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