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Alleged dealer no-show at trial in Salem drug case

BRENTWOOD — A Peabody, Mass., man facing charges that he sold heroin and drove his car at a Salem police officer in June 2011, and who had his plea hearing delayed five times, failed to show up for trial prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Wagnel Luna, 30, is wanted on charges of sale of a controlled drug, criminal threatening, and three other charges in connection with him allegedly fleeing from Salem police after selling heroin to a confidential informant on June 14, 2011.

Judge Marguerite Wageling issued a warrant for Luna’s arrest after he failed to appear in Rockingham County Superior Court on Aug. 5.

Luna was warned by another judge in April that he would get no more delays for his court date after claiming he no longer wanted to plead guilty. Luna told a judge he changed his mind and wanted to take his case to trial.

Earlier this year, Luna’s attorney William Sullivan asked the state to provide background information about the confidential informant prior to his client’s 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 Salem police Sgt. Michael 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 K-9 and its handler.


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