Oak Bluffs Police, drug task force make drug arrest

Michael Pacheco was arraigned in Edgartown District Court Thursday. -Rich Saltzberg

Edgartown District Court Judge Benjamin Barnes set bail at $10,000 for Michael Pacheco, 35, after he was arraigned Thursday on one count of cocaine trafficking (36 grams or more, less than 100 grams) and possession with the intent to distribute a Class A drug (fentanyl). Judge Barnes revoked Pacheco’s bail on another matter, citing a bail conditions violation. 

Working through confidential sources, Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Michael Giardino said Oak Bluffs Police learned Pacheco was allegedly “in the business of selling and distributing cocaine.”

Police were able to gather information on how Pacheco allegedly brought cocaine and other controlled substances to the Vineyard, Giardino said, and ultimately questioned him on Dec. 28 and discovered that he was in possession of 39½ grams of cocaine. Giardino described that amount as “well over the trafficking weight.”

Giardino requested $50,000 bail on the drug charges and revocation of bail based on bail conditions set in regard to other charges Pacheco was arraigned on in October — two counts of assault and battery on a family or household member. Giardino argued revocation was justified in part because Pacheco represented “a danger to the community.”

Defense attorney Ryan Searle, who represented Pacheco for bail purposes only, argued bail shouldn’t be revoked on his prior charges and that he be released on personal recognizance on both the new and old matters. Concerning the new charges, Searle stressed Pacheco was cooperative with police, and didn’t threaten them, try to flee, or try to dump anything in his possession. Searle described Pacheco as a “seasonally employed cook” who is in the process of applying for unemployment. As such, Searle said, her client wasn’t in a position to post $500 bail, let alone $50,000.

“Right now it is evident that he’s suffering from substance use disorder,” Searle said. “It is evident that he is going through withdrawal as we speak in the courtroom.” 

Searle said there was no reason for her client to go through withdrawal in the Dukes County Jail. She suggested that if recognizance with certain conditions was given, her client could instead head straight to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital emergency room. Additionally, Searle suggested the court could impose substance abuse evaluations, random testing on her client, and probation department check-ins. 

Pacheco was detained as he disembarked from a Patriot boat in Oak Bluffs, according to an Oak Bluffs Police Department Facebook post. Members of the Martha’s Vineyard Drug Task Force participated in the investigation and apprehension of Pacheco, according to the post. 

Pacheco is expected back in court Jan. 6.


  1. I think the jail is a fine place to go through withdrawal.
    Hopefully, he won’t die.
    Hopefully, he will kick this monkey off his back and live a life worth living, without endangering the lives of others.
    I have had 3 close friends, a few associates, and one family member who died from heroin and fentanyl overdoses.
    Sometimes, you don’t know a good thing when it bites you.
    Good luck, Mr. Pacheco .

  2. Guess the jail is going to need a separate section to deal with drug withdrawal. Or ship him to Taunton for this.
    I know that keeping him and other dealers out in the community puts everyone in harms way. Too many lives have been destroyed by drugs and they are only here because of the dealers.
    Let’s start 2023 with locking up every single drug dealer.
    I know that 6 are not in or ever been in jail.
    Happy New Year

    • Brenda, do you have enough evidence on your six drug dealers to convince twelve people that they have committed a crime?
      Arresting people who have little to no chance of being convicted of a crime is ‘criminal behavior’.

  3. If you haven’t suffered from opiate withdrawal before then you dont know what sick is..let him have e access to methadone and then put him in jail. Torturing him makes no sense to me. Ms. Leonard if you know of 6 drug dealers that have never been busted you should start your new year with some phone calls to your local police department. Then maybe you should get some new friends.

  4. 10k bail for drugs.

    Bail set in hundreds only when one is arrested for rape.

    My comment has no opinion about drug crimes and addiction.

    Just want to point out the disparity here when crimes are against a person.

    Look up the court records for rape and domestic violence charges and you will see what I am speaking of.

    And while you’re at it ? Check out the names of the lawyers who say they are feminists politically that are defending those who commit crimes against women. Lots of delusions out there !

    • Speaking of being delusional it is a lawyers obligation to provide their clients with the best possible defense without regard to their personal feelings about the validity of the feminist movement.
      Lawyers represent clients charged with drunk driving.
      It does not mean that the lawyers are not concerned about drunk drivers behaviour.
      If your son were accused of rape would you want him represented by a ‘feminist’ lawyer?
      Would you want the judge to be feminist judge?
      Should the bail be increased for rapists and lowered for drunks.
      Rapists rarely kill.
      It’s fairly common with drunks.

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