Pair arraigned in marijuana trafficking case | News

SALEM — Two men pleaded not guilty Thursday to marijuana trafficking charges stemming from a state police investigation that began with a stop for speeding on Route 495 in Amesbury last year. 

Charles Fisher, 43, of Kingston, New Hampshire, and Fadi Laioun, 37, no address available, made their first appearances in Salem Superior Court in the case following their indictments in May by a statewide grand jury. 

Fisher was at the wheel of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup on May 31, 2021 when a state trooper pulled him over for driving 80 miles an hour, according to police at the time. 

After noticing a folding knife in the console, the trooper asked about other weapons and then conducted a search, which police said turned up a loaded handgun, more than 100 rounds of ammunition, and a dozen boxes of marijuana, each containing 10 pounds, for a total of 120 pounds. 

While marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, its distribution and sale is tightly regulated. 

State police attached to the Attorney General’s office investigated the case over the past year and obtained indictments at the end of May against Fisher and Laioun, whose indictment alleges that his activity took place in Salisbury. 

In addition to the drug charges, Fisher is facing several firearms charges, including possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, carrying a firearm without a license and possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card. 

Both men remain free on the original bails posted in Newburyport District Court: $15,000 for Fisher and $5,000 for Laioun. 

Salem Superior Court Judge Thomas Drechsler scheduled a status hearing in the case for Sept. 27. 

Material from prior Daily News of Newburyport reports was used. 

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis

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