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Arlington man pleads not guilty to charge in heroin sale near Ottoson

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UPDATED, May 15: Police have arrested a 48-year-old Arlington man who they say sold heroin near the Ottoson Middle School.

Michael J. Bowler of Burton Street was charged Wednesday, May 13, with heroin distribution and dealing drugs in a school zone, police reported.

Bowler pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his bail was set at $2,500 during his arraignment Thursday, May 14m in Cambridge District Court, District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office said in a Globe report.

"Heroin addiction is the most significant public health crisis we have faced in a generation," Police Chief Frederick Ryan said in a statement to the media.

Police say they caught Bowler in an undercover drug deal on Burton Street, a location that is close enough to Ottoson to qualify as selling within a school zone.

Specific charges are distribution of a Class A Drug (heroin), drug violation near a school and possession of a Class A drug (heroin).

Bowler was arrested after an investigation by the Suburban Middlesex County Drug Task Force, which includes Arlington police detectives and police officers from several other cities and towns, working together. 

After his arrest, police executed a search warrant of his home on Burton Street. Detectives and the Arlington Police K-9, Dasty, searched the premises and located a quantity of heroin, cash, plastic bags and a digital scale.

Detectives and officers from the Arlington, Newton, Waltham, Lexington, Belmont, Watertown and Lincoln police worked the case for the regional task force.

He was ordered held on $25,040 cash bail, a police spokesman said.

"I am proud of the interagency cooperation and relationships we have forged to help attack this problem head-on. Heroin does not stop at town borders," Ryan said in a statement.


This report was published Thursday, May 14, 2015, and updated May 15, to add arraignment information.

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