DA: Westford man used several bars to facilitate cocaine distribution scheme

AYER, MASS. (WHDH) - A Westford man who used ran a “long-standing” cocaine distribution scheme through several bars was arrested Sunday following a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in the town, officials said.

Leonard Hester, Jr., 53, was arraigned Monday in Ayer District Court on charges including trafficking cocaine over 100 grams, conspiracy to violate the drug laws, possession with intent to distribute a Class B substance, possession of a Class D substance, possession of a Class B substance and possession of a firearm without a license, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Westford Chief of Police Thomas McEnaney said in a joint news release.

As a result of a monthslong investigation that began in March 2019, Hester was busted after authorities learned he allegedly supplied narcotics to an “ongoing and long-standing” cocaine distribution scheme utilizing several bars in the Westford area and one or more street-level dealers who sell cocaine and obtain their supplies from him.

A search of Hester’s Rose Lane home and Tyngsborough storage locker yielded 178 grams of crack cocaine, 15 grams of cocaine, $45,000 in cash, drug packaging materials, more than 18 ounces of marijuana, and two handguns, officials said.

Investigators said they also seized cocaine packaged in a manner consistent for resale from a local bar known to be used as an alleged meeting spot for the defendant’s customers and individuals believed to be selling cocaine on his behalf.

Hester is being held on $25,000 bail and a judge set conditions that he stay away from locations connected to this scheme, surrender his passport, and not to possess any drugs, firearms or dangerous weapons.

He is due back in court on July 28.

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