Man accused of trying to hit Salem officer indicted for jumping bail
By JAMES A. KIMBLE Union Leader Correspondent
BRENTWOOD — An accused heroin dealer charged with driving his car at a Salem police officer in June 2011 has been indicted for bail jumping after failing to appear for his trial in August.
Wagnel Luna, 30, of Peabody, Mass., is facing two counts of bail jumping for allegedly trying to dodge charges that he allegedly fled from Salem police after selling heroin to a confidential informant.
Prosecutors say Luna faces drug charges and two counts of criminal threatening for driving his car at Salem police Sgt. Michael Wagner on June 14, 2011, shortly after selling the drugs.
A judge issued a warrant for Luna’s arrest on Aug. 5 when he failed to appear for jury selection in Rockingham County Superior Court for the drug and criminal threatening case. His absence from court happened after he was allowed to delay his plea-and-sentencing hearing on five other occasions, according to court records.
Luna was warned by a judge in April that he would get no more delays for his court date after saying he no longer wanted to plead guilty. Luna told a judge he changed his mind and wanted to take his case to trial.
Luna was the target of an undercover drug investigation by Salem police between May 24 and June 14, 2011.
Undercover officers brokered four transactions with Luna through the confidential informant, according to prosecutors.
After Luna made his last sale to the informant, police moved in to arrest him but he sped away from the officers, nearly striking Wagner, according to indictments.
Wagner was directing traffic at the intersection of Brady Avenue and Lowell Road when he attempted to stop the car, prosecutors said.
A high speed chase ended over the state line in Dracut, Mass., where Luna bailed out of his car and fled into the woods, police said.
He was tracked down and apprehended by a police dog and its handler.
The bail jumping charges carry potential state prison terms, including one sentence that is punishable by up to 7 ½ to 15 years in state prison.