For Immediate Release - August 26, 2011

Two Men Indicted for Attempted Murder

On Wednesday, August 24, an Essex County Grand Jury secretly indicted Anthony Polsonetti, Jr., 52, of 32 New Way Lane, Gloucester, and Christopher Sherry, 40, of 11 Winthrop Avenue, Beverly, in connection with a shooting into a Peabody home with a high powered semi-automatic assault rifle in February of this year over an unpaid debt.    

Both men are charged with assault with intent to murder, conspiracy to commit assault with intent to murder, and extortion.  In addition, Polsonetti is charged with trafficking a Class A substance (opium), trafficking a Class B substance (oxycodone), two counts of usury related to loan sharking, and intent to procure another to commit perjury.

Sherry was arrested yesterday afternoon at his residence by Beverly and Peabody Police, and arraigned this morning in Salem Superior Court.  Sherry pleaded not guilty to his charges and was ordered held on $20,000 cash bail by Judge Timothy Feeley.  Essex First Assistant District Attorney John T. Dawley had requested $250,000 cash bail.  

The judge also set pre-trial probationary conditions, including no drugs or alcohol, random screens, and no contact or communication with the victim or witnesses in this case.  Sherry will return to court on September 27 for a pre-trial conference.

Polsonetti is expected to turn himself in for arraignment Monday morning at Salem Superior Court.      

Essex First Assistant District Attorney John T. Dawley told the court that Sherry confronted Michael Aresco at his home at 611 Lowell Street on the evening of February 15, 2011, having allegedly been commissioned by Polsonetti to collect an unpaid debt.  Aresco convinced Sherry, who had never seen the victim and didn’t know what he looked like that he wasn’t the man Sherry was looking for. 

But a short time later, after going to a neighboring home in search of Aresco, Sherry realized he’d been duped.  At about 6 o’clock the following morning, 14 shots were fired into Aresco’s residence from a semi-automatic weapon. 

As the investigation progressed, a search of Polsonetti’s Gloucester residence revealed evidence of drug trafficking, extortion and loan sharking.

The cooperative investigation was conducted by Peabody Police Detective Eric Ricci, Beverly Police Detective Thomas Nolan, and Special Agent Eric Kotchian from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, in conjunction with Essex First Assistant District Attorney John T. Dawley, who will prosecute the case.