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Boy to police: ‘I think my dad sells drugs'

by: Steven Yablonski Updated:

LAWRENCE, Mass. - Police in Lawrence said they received a 911 call Wednesday from an 11-year-old boy to report something they never expected to hear: “I think my dad sells drugs.”

Police told Boston 25 News that the boy and his cousin were in his father’s bedroom in a Ferry Street apartment and were being curious and looking around.

According to police, the boys found a suitcase with nearly $10,000 worth of drugs inside.

Police said they believe the drugs are a mix of fentanyl and heroin. They said the 11-year-old called 911 and told them, “I think my dad sells drugs.”

MORE: Police: 11-year-old finds heroin, fentanyl in dad's belongings

His father, 40-year-old Yamil Mercado, later turned himself in to police Thursday. He has since been charged with drug trafficking and child endangerment.

The boy has been taken from the home and is being kept in a secure location, according to investigators.

Neighbors told Boston 25 News that they have been living in fear.

"The buyer sits on our street and the seller comes flying off the streets, they do their exchange and they take off," Robert O'Koniewski said.

While many are praising the boy for doing the right thing and turning himself in, police said the boy knew his father was going to get into trouble and needed to console him throughout the entire process.

"I commend this young man for being brave enough to come forward and report that these dangerous substances were in his home," Lawrence police Chief James Fitzpatrick said.

It's not the first time the boy has asked for help; last year he called DCF for help, but a case was never filed. The details of why and what the child called about are unknown. Officials said he's only been in his father's custody for the last week. 

Neighbors said they are hoping other children follow the boy’s lead.

“I can say what I say to my kids, if they touch the stuff they will be looking for their teeth somewhere on the streets. It's not something that I tolerate,” O’Koniewski said.

Mercado was held without bail on Friday and a dangerousness hearing scheduled for the following week.