New York man arrested on drug charge in Tisbury

Police arrested Emile M. Rowe, shown in this booking photo, on cocaine charges. — Photo courtesy of Edgartown Police Department

Police officers from three towns, assigned to the Martha’s Vineyard Drug Task Force, arrested a New York man on Friday, April 13, who, they said, has dealt cocaine from a small shed in the Skiff Avenue area of Tisbury for months.

Police arrested Emile M. Rowe, 29, of Hollis, New York, outside the small shed he lived in at 29 Andrews Road. In the shed, police located nine grams of cocaine, $5,047 in two rolls of bills, a scale and baggies, according to a police report.

Mr. Rowe is familiar to police. Edgartown Detective Sergeant Chris Dolby, one of the arresting officers, said he was familiar with Mr. Rowe from a previous arrest in 2010, for cocaine possession and distribution. The case was continued without a finding, but Mr. Rowe did not follow up with probation payments, according to the report.

The arrest on Friday followed a brief struggle with several task force officers.

“Once the suspect realized it was the police, he immediately reached into his pants pocket with his right hand and at the same time attempted to flee,” Edgartown Sgt. Dolby wrote in his report.

Police said during a three-month investigation, they developed information that a man known as “John” was selling cocaine in Tisbury. They said he took precautions to conceal his identity from drug buyers.

Following his arrest, Sgt. Dolby said Mr. Rowe told officers that he had a cocaine habit and needed help.

“He admitted that he did not have a job,” the sergeant wrote in the report. “He admitted that he was selling cocaine to feed his habit. He would not tell me how long he resided in the shed.”

Police said they later asked the owner of the Andrews Road property, identified in the report as Carla Cunningham, if she knew Mr. Rowe.

“She said that she did not know his name,” Det. Sgt. Dolby wrote. “She explained that his ‘cousin’ pays the rent, but they are all cousins and come to the Island to work for a while and then leave.

“I asked if she had any kind of documentation with anyone’s name on it, and she said she did not. She said they pay cash once a month. In the shed, I observed numerous hand-written receipts that she has given them in exchange for $1,100 rent per month.”

Police said the investigation remains open.