A Massachusetts man has turned himself in after his 11-year-old son found drugs in his luggage Wednesday and called police.
Yamil Mercado, 40, of Lawrence, is charged with trafficking heroin over 200 grams and reckless endangerment of a child. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court on Friday morning.
Lawrence police said they responded to the boy's home on Ferry Street and located over 200 grams of heroin and fentanyl valued at $8,500 in sandwich bags inside the luggage. The boy told police he had also seen his father conducting a drug deal earlier.
Police are not identifying the boy, but neighbors are speaking out.
"I get chills," said Susan Duarte. "I want to cry. I don't know what's going on. A parent would not put their child in harm's way like that if they're in their right mind. Shame on you to put your child at risk like that."
"It's very scary for a child to call the cops on his father," added Nancy Morin. "It's devastating. I feel for the child. I really do."
Lawrence police Chief James Fitzpatrick commended the boy for reporting the drugs, saying "It is frightening to consider that the drugs the boy found are strong enough to cause serious harm to full grown adults, merely by being in their presence, and to consider what could have happened had he not immediately called for help from law enforcement."