Vineyard Haven man arrested on heroin trafficking charge

In arguing for high bail, the assistant district attorney said Jeffrey T. Moore, shown in this booking photo, has an extensive record of jail time and a history of not showing up in court. — Photo by Dukes County Sheriff's Department

Members of the Martha’s Vineyard Drug Task force arrested Jeffrey Thomas Moore, 43, of Vineyard Haven Saturday on heroin trafficking charges. Police seized 18.5 grams of heroin, as well as prescription narcotics, from Mr. Moore’s Walker Way apartment.

Under state law, trafficking in more than 14 grams but less than 28 grams of heroin carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in state prison. Police estimate the street value of the seized drugs at $4,200.

A team of seven officers from several towns entered the home in a well-coordinated raid, and initially found one gram of heroin and drug paraphernalia on Mr. Moore’s bed, according to the police report. After police advised Mr. Moore of his rights, he began yelling, “(Expletive) you guys got me good this time,” Oak Bluffs Detective Nick Curelli said in his report. “I’m screwed. I’m such a (expletive). I should have known. You guys gave me so many warnings.”

Mr. Moore told police he had just returned from Providence, where he purchased drugs.

“Moore advised that he goes to Providence to get heroin because it only costs $70 per gram,” Detective Curelli wrote. “I know that heroin is regularly sold on Martha’s Vineyard for $200 a gram.”

Police decided not to have Edgartown K-9 officer Jeff Trudel and his dog Buster search the apartment for more drugs because the large number of hypodermic needles throughout the apartment made it unsafe. Task force officers began a detailed search and recovered a large bag of brown powder from his freezer. Tests later confirmed it was heroin. They also recovered a plastic bag and a prescription bottle containing prescription narcotics in a jacket hanging in a closet.

In recent summer months, Mr. Moore was frequently seen standing on the sidewalk at Five Corners holding a cardboard sign that said he was in need of work, Tisbury Police confirmed.

Mr. Moore was arraigned Monday morning in Edgartown District Court on charges of heroin trafficking, possession with intent to distribute Methadone, and possession with intent to distribute suboxone. The court set bail at $50,000.

In arguing for high bail, Cape and Islands assistant district attorney Laura Marshard cited Mr. Moore’s extensive record.

“He has thirty-two defaults, more than six violations of probation, and an extensive record of doing House of Correction time,” Ms. Marshard said in a phone interview. “It’s an extraordinary number of defaults, plus he had quite a lot of heroin and other narcotics.”

Mr. Moore is due back in court on Friday, February 8, for a pre-trial hearing.