Three involved in highway pursuit held on high cash bail | News

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NEWBURYPORT — Three people arrested Tuesday following a high-speed car chase that ended on Route 113 face drug trafficking charges after police say they found 265 grams of fentanyl and other drugs in their pickup truck.

The driver, 52-year-old Johnell Henry Parker Jr. of Goffstown, New Hampshire, was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail following his arraignment Wednesday morning in Newburyport District Court. The passengers, Ashley Ricker, 31, of Raymond, New Hampshire, and Charles Parker, 23, of Nashua, New Hampshire, were ordered held on $50,000 cash bail.

All three were ordered to stay away and have no contact with an Amesbury man who police say chased them in his pickup truck after they stole a trailer parked at his Merrill Street home.

They are due back in court June 7 for probable cause hearing, which means the trio will be likely be indicted and arraigned in Salem Superior Court. 

In addition to a charge of fentanyl trafficking more than 200 grams, they face receiving stolen property over $1,200 and vandalizing property charges. Johnell Parker also faces operating to endanger, failing to stop for police and other motor vehicle-related charges. 

About 3 p.m. Tuesday, Amesbury police received word that a Merrill Street resident was following a green older model pickup on Monroe Street shortly after he saw people in the truck hitch up his trailer and drive away. The trailer owner followed the truck until Officer Kiro Shenouda spotted the green truck and began chasing it. By the time the officer found the truck, the trailer had become dislodged and crashed near Route 286 in Salisbury. 

Shenouda followed the truck as it merged onto Interstate 95 south at a high rate of speed. On the highway, the truck hit speeds of up to 95 mph before it abruptly veered off the highway and onto the Route 113 exit in Newburyport.

With cars waiting at the red light at the merge with Route 113, Johnell Parker drove over a middle island and ran through the light. As it took a wide left turn onto Route 113 east, the truck suffered a mechanical issue and rolled to a stop. Johnell Parker tried to restart the engine with no luck. The truck was quickly surrounded by Amesbury, Newburyport and State Police, and the three were placed into custody. 

During an inventory search of the truck, a state police trooper found 24 individually wrapped portions or fingers of fentanyl in a brown purse. They also found several other drugs in glass vials, four cell phones and drug paraphernalia, according to Shenouda’s report. 

About the same time. Amesbury police Officer Ronald Guilmette interviewed the trailer owner. The owner said he was doing yard work very far away from his driveway when he saw the green truck pull into his driveway and drive off with the trailer.

He hopped into his own pickup and began chasing the truck and trailer through the city. The truck eventually merged onto Interstate 95 north toward Salisbury, prompting the owner to follow and reaching speeds of up to 80 mph.

Johnell Parker then exited at Route 286 in Salisbury at which time, the trailer became unhitched and crashed into a traffic sign. The owner did not give up the pursuit though and continued following Johnell Parker onto Main Street and then Monroe Street at the Amesbury line, Guilmette wrote in his report. 

‘The vehicle then turned left on Elm Street. When they approached the area of Rocky Hill Road, (the owner) observed blue emergency lights. The dispatcher advised him of the pursuit, (the owner) stopped following and returned to the off ramp where he was able to pick up this trailer,” Guilmette wrote in his report. 

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