Winthrop Police Lieutenant Frank Scarpa was on patrol driving along Winthrop Shore Drive a little past 6 p.m. Monday (May 10), when he observed a motorist speeding by him going the opposite direction while smoking what appeared to him to be a drug pipe.
Upon pulling the vehicle over and asking the driver, who at that point appeared to be under the influence of something, to step out of the car, Lt. Scarpa then noticed a homemade crack pipe.
The driver, identified by police as Ralph A. Sordello, 44, of 57 Shore Drive, told Scarpa and other responding officers that “he was on his way home from work and he was driving around smoking crack.”
According to the police report, Sordello also told police that, “he (thought) he smoked it all, but there may be a little left in a baggy in the cup holder of the center console.”
A quick search of the vehicle by Scarpa did turn up a small translucent plastic bag containing a “white rock/powder substance that we believed to be crack cocaine,” and that Sordello “did confirm that it was crack cocaine.”
Sordello was then taken into custody for possession of a Class B substance, subsequent offense, Sordello police reported had a prior conviction for possession of class B, and seized the pipe and plastic baggy as evidence in the case.
“This case is an excellent example of an alert officer witnessing a crime and taking immediate action to protect the public safety,” explained Police Chief Terrence Delehanty. “Lieutenant Scarpa and the officers who responded to back him up and assist with the arrest are to be congratulated for their good police work.”