LPD drug charge roundup continues with 4 more arrests; 3 other suspects still being sought

LACONIA — Police have arrested four more people and charged them with various counts of sales of narcotics.

Capt. Bill Clary said Joseph O'Flaherty, 31, of 11 Charges St. in Laconia faces one count of sales of a narcotic; Shane Mitza, 38, of 1201 Mount Major Highway in Alton faces three counts of sales of a narcotic; Juston Kennet, 27, no address given, faces one count of sales of a narcotic and Joanne Benwell, 25, no address given faces one count of sales of narcotics.

Clary said Kennet and Benwell were arrested by Rumney police.

In addition, police said there are active arrest warrants for narcotic sales outstanding for Tracey Hebert, 37, Richard Minor, 34, and Shawn Stitt, 35.

All of the above have ties to Laconia and police ask that anyone with any information about their whereabouts to call the Laconia Police Department at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

The aforementioned seven people have been charged with or are wanted for a variety of narcotic sales charges in what Clary described Thursday as a nearly year-long investigation into drug sales activity in Laconia. He said the drugs involved range from heroin and oxycodone to cocaine and crack.

Police apprehended 13 additional alleged drug dealers in an early-morning drug sweep Thursday, the second time police have conducted a city-wide sweep in the past year.

Eighteen months ago, the City Council added an additional police officer to the ranks and the police administration added a fifth detective to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations and concentrated on drug activity.

Clary said the 16 arrests and three additional warrants are the result of the extra detective in the drug unit.