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Former state representative Stephen Doran arrested for allegedly receiving meth package at JP school

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  May 22, 2013 12:09 PM

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Former state representative Stephen W. Doran was held Wednesday on $10,000 bail after being charged with drug trafficking for allegedly receiving a package containing more than 400 grams of methamphetamine at a Jamaica Plain charter school where he worked as a tutor, authorities said.

The package was mailed to Doran at 215 Forest Hills St., the address of the Match Charter Public Middle School, according to a statement from the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. It had been sent as Express Mail via the United States Postal Service.

At about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, State Police pulled over the Jeep Cherokee that Doran was driving just after he left the school, the district attorney's office said.

State Police had received "information that [Doran] might receive a package with a large amount of methamphetamine," and had obtained a warrant to search the package, said district attorney office spokesman Jake Wark.

Wark, citing an ongoing investigation, declined to say where the package was sent from.

Inside the package, police found two heat-sealed baggies containing 480 grams of a crystalline substance believed to be methamphetamine, a highly-addictive stimulant, authorities said.

Doran, 57, was arrested.

Authorities said they found another 38 grams of the same substance, about $10,000 in cash, a digital scale and "other items consistent with drug distribution" inside his home on Dix Street in Dorchester, after they obtained a warrant to search there.

Altogether, prosecutors estimated the total street value of the seized drugs to be about $50,000.

At his arraignment Wednesday in West Roxbury District Court, Doran was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and with violating the state's drug laws in a school zone, officials said.

A plea of not-guilty was automatically entered on Doran's behalf, said Wark.

Assistant District Attorney Rakhi Lahiri recommended Doran be held on $500,000 cash bail.

Instead, Judge Michael Coyne instead ordered Doran to be held on $10,000 cash bail, Wark said. If Doran posts bail, he will be required to wear a GPS device and remain confined to his home, except if he needs to leave for medical appointments.

During the arraignment, Doran's lawyers said that Doran has been receiving treatment for cancer, according to Wark.

Doran is due back in court on those charges June 24.

He will be charged with a second count of methamphetamine trafficking in Dorchester District Court for the methamphetamine allegedly found in his home, Wark said. A date for that arraignment has not been set.

If convicted, Doran would serve at least eight and up to 20 years in prison, Wark said.

Doran's attorneys, Vincent A. Murray Jr. and Joseph Daniel Eisenstadt, could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Between 1980 and 1994, Doran, a Democrat, served seven terms as the state representative for the 15th Middlesex House District, which includes Lexington, where he lived while in office and was also involved in town government.

Doran was born in Boston, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1978 and went on to study at the London School of Economics and Political Science, according to records from the State Library of Massachusetts.

His time in the State House included serving as chair of committees on ethics, education committee and taxation, the state's library records show. He also served as vice-chair of the government regulations committee.

"During his 14 years in office, Doran focused on budgetary issues, consumer protection, drug/alcohol abuse, economic development, education, elderly affairs, employment, environmental issues, housing, local aid, social services, and women's issues," the state records say. "Doran sponsored and co-sponsored a considerable body of legislation during his time in office, including legislation for tax reform, the prevailing wage law, and the greenhouse bill."

He retired from politics in 1994.

Doran will no longer tutor at the school in JP, according to Michael Larsson, chief operating officer of Match.

"We have no knowledge, nor any reason to believe, that any staff, teachers, or students are involved in this matter or in danger in any way," Larsson said in an e-mailed statement. "We are cooperating completely with the police investigation, and we are conducting our own internally."

"We will share all appropriate information with our staff, students and families to assure them of the safety of our school," he added.

Doran had tutored there since Sept. 2012, Larsson said in an e-mailed statement.

Larsson emphasized that Doran was not a teacher and that Doran, "like all tutors at Match was subject to a Criminal Offender Registry check before he began his service with us. Mr. Doran passed that check."

The district attorney office spokesman said Doran had been arrested twice before. The first was in 1979 for driving while under the influence of alcohol in Framingham; that was "continued without a finding" resulting in its eventual dismissal. In 2001, Doran was arrested in Haverhill for marijuana possession; that case was dismissed at Doran's first court appearance, Wark said.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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