Merrimack police seize more than 100 grams of heroin, arrest business owner

Merrimack police and the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force members seized more than 100 grams of heroin from a Merrimack business Friday, Jan. 24, in what police said is the largest such heroin bust in the town’s recent history.

Merrimack police charged Denard Debruhl, 34, of 908 Columbia Circle, with three counts of unlawful sale of a narcotic drug-heroin, as well as possession of a narcotic drug with intent to distribute, police said.

Merrimack police Lt. Denise Roy said Debruhl was operating an unnamed glass-blowing business from the building in a commercial park off Daniel Webster Highway. He also was living there with a woman and two children, police said.

The drug task force received information that Debruhl was selling heroin from the business, and task force members were able to purchase heroin from him there, police said.

Roy said Debruhl was operating as a “mid-level” dealer and was distributing heroin to street-level dealers.

Debruhl was arrested without incident Friday and police found more than 100 grams – about 3½ ounces – of the drug while searching the building, Roy said, a huge amount for a town the size of Merrimack.

Roy, a 23-year veteran of the Merrimack force, said it’s the largest seizure of heroin in the town of about 27,000 people she’s been involved in.

“It’s actually very big,” she said.

The bust is particularly timely, Roy said, given the increasing demand for heroin around the state.

Police in Portsmouth issued a warning last week after responding to three heroin overdoses in a day. One of the victims, a 37-year-old man, later died, according to news reports.

New Hampshire authorities said heroin use is growing at an alarming rate. At least 61 people died of heroin overdoses in New Hampshire in 2013, compared with 38 the previous year, according to The Associated Press.

One of the main drivers of the drug’s increasing popularity is it’s affordability, Roy said.

“One of the reasons is heroin is one of the cheaper drugs to buy,” she said. “Taking this amount of heroin off the streets of Merrimack is huge for our community. We’re trying to chip away at every little bit we can.”

Debruhl was arraigned at Merrimack district court and held on $200,000 cash bail. He is scheduled to be back in court Feb. 6 for a probable cause hearing, police said.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@