Oak Bluffs man, his housemate dead, faces heroin trafficking charges

Oak Bluffs man, his housemate dead, faces heroin trafficking charges

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— File photo by Ralph Stewart

Oak Bluffs police arrived at a 42 Barnes Road house Wednesday morning, July 17, to investigate a report of a man found dead in his room. Following an investigation and a search of the property, police arrested Mathew Hubert, 52, for trafficking in heroin.

The dead man, found in a garage apartment, was James C. Walker, 50, an Island resident for about 20 years.

Oak Bluffs police Lieut. Tim Williamson identified Mr. Walker, and police said foul play is not suspected, although the cause of death has not been named.

Mr. Hubert was arraigned last Thursday morning in Edgartown District Court on charges of possession of a Class A drug (heroin), possession of a Class B drug (Ritalin), and trafficking a Class A drug (heroin). As of Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Hubert remained in the Dukes County Jail on $15,000 cash bond.

Oak Bluffs police and EMS got to the house about 9:15 am, following the report of a body, according to the police report. They found Mr. Walker’s body in a second-floor bedroom.

In his report, Oak Bluffs Police Detective Nick Curelli said he found a spoon with heroin in it, a syringe, and several small wax bags near the body, and a belt on the bed. The bags were stamped, “Family First,” and at least one of the bags had heroin in it.

Det. Curelli said Mr. Hubert was “visibly shaking,” and “his pupils were visibly constricted.” He had fresh heroin track marks on his arm and told police he had last used heroin around 6:30 am that morning, according to the report.

At first, Mr. Hubert gave police permission to search his room, where they found two wax paper bags under Mr. Hubert’s bed. They were similar to those found next to the dead body and also stamped “Family First.” Police also found a small quantity of Ritalin pills.

At that point, Mr. Hubert withdrew his permission for the police to search, and police applied for a warrant. They later returned with Edgartown police Officer Jeff Trudel and his dog “Buster.”

That search turned up two scales, $390, assorted IDs in Mr. Hubert’s name, prescription bottles containing a variety of pills, hypodermic needles, a date book, calendar, and bags of heroin stamped “Family First.” In total, police said they found 19.5 grams of heroin.

The report noted that a confidential informant told police that Mr. Hubert gets “500 bags of heroin at a time in Holyoke and sells them here.”