For the second time this year, members of the Martha’s Vineyard Drug Task Force have arrested Matthew P. Tucci on charges that include dealing heroin. The latest arrest of Mr. Tucci, a convicted sex offender and drug dealer, was Tuesday on Seaview Avenue Extension in Oak Bluffs.
Drug task force officers that included Edgartown Detective Sgt. Chris Dolby were watching as Mr. Tucci walked toward the Island Queen ferry. “I started jogging towards Tucci and observed Det. Sgt. Dolby call Tucci’s name and take control of this right wrist,” wrote Oak Bluffs police Det. Jeff LaBell, lead investigator, in his police report. “I observed Tucci was attempting to swallow something and was gagging as he was doing so. Tucci continued to gag and attempted to swallow an object in his mouth, which officers believed to be drugs. I continuously told Tucci he was under arrest and to put his hands behind his back. He refused and was attempting to pull his left arm under his body. After a brief struggle, I was able to get his left wrist into a handcuff, followed by his right wrist.”
Mr. Tucci did eventually swallow the object in his mouth according to the police report. Police later recovered a backpack they believed belongs to Mr. Tucci. Inside police found 11 individually wrapped bags of a tan powder they believe was heroin. Police arrested Mr. Tucci on a subsequent offense of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, failure to register as a sex offender, and resisting arrest. In 2002, Mr. Tucci was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl on Martha’s Vineyard, and ordered to register as a level 3 sex offender. He served a five-year prison term for that crime. He lists his address as Boylston, but police said he lives on the Island for extended periods of time, which would require him to notify police of his whereabouts, under the sex offender law. On March 19, police arrested Mr. Tucci in Oak Bluffs, and charged him with dealing heroin. On March 6, Mr. Tucci walked out of the Dukes County House of Correction. A little more than one year earlier, on January 23, 2013, Edgartown District Court Presiding Justice H. Gregory Williamsrevoked bail for Mr. Tucci following his arraignment on charges of dealing heroin and failing to register as a level 3 sex offender. At the time, Mr. Tucci was also free on bail from Worcester District Court, where he also faced heroin dealing charges. Mr. Tucci was sentenced to 2.5 years in the house of correction, 18 months committed. The Worcester charge netted him a one year sentence.
An earlier online version of this story incorrectly reported Mr. Tucci was arrested as he stepped off the Island Queen. He was arrested as he walked toward the ferry landing. Also, the rank of Mr. LaBell was incorrectly reported as officer. He is a detective on the Oak Bluffs police department.