The spring sitting of Dukes County superior court wrapped up this week, with a jury convicting a Jamaica Plain man of drug trafficking. Several trials scheduled for the October superior court session.
On Monday, a jury found Jose Luis Arias, 24, guilty of trafficking in heroin and trafficking in cocaine. The next day, the Hon. Cornelius J. Moriarty 2nd, an associate justice of the superior court who is presiding over the session, sentenced Mr. Arias to serve concurrent sentences of seven to eight years in state prison for the first charge, and five to eight years for the second.
Mr. Arias was arrested along with Wilken Ariaz-Baez in November 2009 after arriving on the Island with large amounts of heroin and cocaine.
Assistant district attorney Laura Marshard said she was pleased with the outcome, and with the work of state police Sgt. Jeffrey Stone, coordinator of the Martha’s Vineyard Drug Task Force. “I’m hoping the sentence for Mr. Arias is a deterrent for other would-be participants,” she told the Gazette.
“It’s disheartening to see the Vineyard has become a sales destination for narcotics,” she added, noting that Mr. Arias came to the Vineyard exclusively to sell considerable amounts of the drugs. Ms. Marshard said that Mr. Arias was arrested with 99.9 grams of heroin and 77 grams of cocaine.
Mr. Arias was sent to the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction in Walpole. Mr. Ariaz-Baez has been deported.
In other business Thursday morning, a motions hearing was held for David L. Thrift 2nd, who is facing several superior court charges from July 2011, when he allegedly assaulted his wife and then fled his Vineyard Haven house, later returning and raping a 15-year-old female visitor at knifepoint.
Mr. Thrift, 30, is charged with rape of a child with force, aggravated rape, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon, violating an abuse prevention order, two counts of intimidation of a witness and three counts of assault and battery.
Mr. Thrift’s lawyer, Robert Hofmann, and Essex assistant district attorney Kate B. MacDougall met to discuss motions, with Mr. Thrift also appearing in the courtroom. A trial is scheduled for Oct. 2.
Other cases on the superior court docket for October include the trials for Ovando Eghill, who is charged with murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; Stanley Johnson, 51, who is charged with unarmed burglary, breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony, and larceny more than $250 for allegedly robbing an Oak Bluffs man of $85,000 in April 2011; and Demetrio Garcia 3rd, 20, of West Tisbury and Brian D. Gromoshak, 31, of Oak Bluffs, who were arrested in October in connection with robbing an Edgartown man of money and marijuana and then threatening him with a knife.
Mr. Garcia is charged with armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering in the daytime to commit a felony, and larceny more than $250, while Mr. Gromoshak is charged with armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering in the daytime to commit a felony, larceny more than $250, witness intimidation, and possession to distribute class D drugs (marijuana).