Arraignment postponed for former town employee charged with drug distribution

By Angie Hilsman | Jul 12, 2017

The arraignment of a former Water Department employee allegedly involved in drug distribution on Town Hall property has been postponed until next month.

Paul Andrade, 42, of Fall River will appear in in New Bedford District Court on August 22 to answer to charges of dealing suboxone strips to another town employee.

Andrade was originally scheduled for arraignment on July 10. His lawyer Joseph Silvia requested the postponement, according to the Bristol County District Attorney's office. Silvia could not be reached for comment prior to publication.

Tipped off by town employees, Dartmouth Police began an investigation in April that led to the discovery of a routine drug exchange that had allegedly been going on for three years between Andrade and town utility billing clerk Carolyn Oliveira.

Andrade was confronted by police after officers allegedly observed him picking up $120 from Oliveira’s car April 27. According to court documents, Andrade confessed that each month, he sold Oliveira 52 suboxone strips, and charged her $10 for each strip.

Neither Oliveira nor Andrade were arrested. Both faced a clerk magistrate to determine probable cause to move forward with criminal charges. It was determined there was not probable cause to charge Oliveira with drug possession, but there was probable cause to charge Andrade with drug distribution.

Both employees have since resigned from their positions, according to town officials.

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