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Familiar names in North Shore drug bust

Two days ago, it was reported that seven local men were among 15 charged with drug trafficking. Among them were Henry Hernandez, David Soucy and Celton Pelaez. These names may be familiar to readers as they were busted on similar charges back in October of 2012. Apparently they all made bail back then and were back in business shortly thereafter.

In October 2012, local law enforcement officials arrested Henry Hernandez, 36, of Lynn, David Soucy, 35, of Danvers, Jesus Franco, 42, of Salem, and Celton Pelaez, 36, Peabody for trafficking oxycodone. Jesus Franco was owner of the Bangkok Paradise, a downtown Salem restaurant that has been shuttered since his arrest and the local licensing board’s decision to revoke his liquor license . The restaurant was well known as a place to purchase drugs in the North Shore area. In the middle of October, 2012, Franco’s restaurant came under scrutiny following two street fights, one with over 100 participants and a knifing which were said to have started with altercations among drunk patrons of the Bangkok Paradise. This was the final straw in a long list of neighbor complaints of intimidating crowds in the parking lots, trash and vandalism.

Soucy appears to have other difficulties as well as he was arrested on a domestic violence charge back in February, 2011. Soucy, of 7 Garden St., Danvers was charged with domestic assault and battery and intimidation after the early morning incident.

Prescription drug abuse has become has increasingly become a public health issue in Massachusetts. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports 16 million Americans over the age of 12 use pharmaceuticals for non-medicinal purposes. In fact, prescription drug overdose has surpassed illegal narcotics as the primary reason for drug abuse hospital admissions. In 2009, prescription narcotics accounted for nearly 30 percent of the 4.6 million drug-related cases seen in the nation's emergency rooms.