Steve Laroche

Milton Police Chief Steve Laroche, seen in this file photo, said the Romero arrest was the largest drug bust in the department’s history.

In 2018, neighbors reported suspicious behavior at 77 Bear Trap Road in Milton.

In 2019, the subject of those complaints, Jerry Romero, 64, was sentenced to 7.5 years in federal prison for drug trafficking.

“Everyone says they don’t know what drug deals look like because they’re average citizens, but they know what’s odd; they know what different behavior is,” Milton Police Detective Frank Scalise told the Independent at the time of Romero’s arrest. “When cars go in and out of a place and people are walking down a road where there’s nowhere to walk, they notice.”

Surveillance followed, culminating in the issuance of a search warrant for the property in September 2018. Federal agents joined the MPD for the search, which netted 480 bags of heroin and 61 grams of cocaine base from a bathroom wastebasket and $3,000 cash from a bedroom dresser. Police also found a gun safe with a .380 Glock pistol and ammunition inside. As someone with a history of federal convictions for drug dealing, Romero was prohibited from owning a firearm.

Romero was subsequently charged with intent to sell heroin and cocaine base and illegal possession of a firearm.

In June, Judge William Sessions III sentenced Romero to 66 months for the drug offenses and 24 months for violating the terms of his supervised release, to be served concurrently. Romero pleaded guilty in a deal with federal prosecutors.

“Working with federal law enforcement partners, the Milton Police Department was able to establish a case involving Jerry Romero and address the concerns of Milton residents,” said Milton Police Chief Steve Laroche. He praised the efforts of the citizens of Milton for providing valuable information, leading to Romero’s arrest.

“This investigation resulted in the largest amount of crack cocaine and heroin seized in the department’s history,” according to Laroche.

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