This week’s drug-related arrests came after a several-month-long investigation involving the work of a confidential informant. It led to seizures of heroin, pot, and the arrest of an alleged bootlegger who bought over 1,500 bottles of whiskey.
The first arrest came Sunday evening, when Bethel police pulled over a vehicle with 52-year-old Andre Williams Senior in the passenger’s seat. They quickly found a glass jar with foil packets of black tar heroin. After searching the car, they seized 33 grams of heroin and 2,370 dollars cash. The street value of the heroin could be 33,000 dollars.
A second heroin related arrest came Tuesday. Troopers went to the home of Kevin Cockroft, 57, and through a window, saw him grabbing a yellow candy container and running back to the rear of the house. They say that container had 8 “niffs” of heroin, each about a tenth of a gram. That package was later found in a honeybucket. They also found a rock of heroin in the fridge.
The investigation came with help of an informant, known only as N1008, who had been involved in shipping alcohol to a local option community. The suspect agreed to help law enforcement identify drug dealers in Bethel. An informant had bought small amounts of marijuana twice at Cockroft’s house.
The informant led law enforcement to evidence alleging that Gabriel Baker, 42, sold marijuana and whiskey out of his home. Troopers say the informant made 3 buys from Baker, each around a tenth of an ounce of marijuana for $100. The informant also bought a bottle of R&R Whiskey for $50. Troopers says Baker bought a total of 1,560 bottles of whiskey, spending more than 21,000 dollars. Selling at 50 dollars a bottle yields 78,000 dollars.
The informant made at least five buys of marijuana and hashish from Christopher Hickman over the past couple months, according to court documents. On Tuesday, law enforcement went to his wife Lorraine Hickman’s apartment and truck, seizing more than 13 ounces of marijuana, 1,400 dollars cash, and drug selling paraphernalia like scales and baggies. A police affidavit says that Lorraine was present at some of the buys and handed Christopher tin foil.
Another defendant, Matthew Hickman Jr, 21, traveled to Phoenix Arizona in violation of his release conditions and spoke on the phone to Richard Hickman, a co-defendant in another case.
Five of the defendants were arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Bethel. The court entered not guilty pleas on behalf of them, before they had a chance to speak with their public defenders or outside counsel.