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North Attleborough man sues Attleboro Police, former mayor, and city

A North Attleborough resident has filed a $2.8 million lawsuit against three Attleboro police officers over a four-year-old drug bust.

Mark P. Rioux, 40, filed a lawsuit in November 2022 alleging police falsified facts to arrest him in 2019 on drug conspiracy charges. These charges were related to an alleged illegal marijuana cultivation operation.

The defendants, Sgt. Matthew Cook, Deputy Police Chief Timothy Cook Jr. and Detective Gabriel D’Agostino of Attleboro are being sued on counts of false arrest, malicious prosecution and civil rights violations.

Also named in the lawsuit is the City of Attleboro as an interested party for employing the officers, and Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux.

Heroux, who was mayor during the arrest, pushed back on the claims Rioux made in the lawsuit.

“It is absurd,” Heroux said. “There is no way I could have commented on the situation as he is alleged to have done.”

In July 2019, Rioux and two other men were arrested after police raided two storage units at 46 Eddy Square and found 143 marijuana plants and cultivation equipment.  The case against Rioux was dismissed that year after an Attleboro District Court judge ruled there was a lack of probable cause .

Per the lawsuit, Rioux’s lawyer, John Pavlos of Randolph, said his client’s car was searched without his consent or a warrant when Rioux was stopped and arrested.

Pavlos also wrote that Cook Jr, who was a lieutenant at the time, “extensively misrepresented the facts and misled the court with unqualified statements,” when applying for a search warrant for Rioux’s cell phone.

In a response to the lawsuit, Douglas Louison, a Boston lawyer representing the defendants, wrote that his clients were protected under qualified immunity and statements made about the   Rioux case were not falsified.

Louison did not respond immediately to an email from The Reporter for further comment.

Another one of Pavlos’s clients, Michael Alves of North Attleborough, is planning on filing a similar suit against the North Attleborough Police Department.

Alves, who was arrested and charged in 2019 for an alleged illegal indoor marijuana growing operation that included enough plants to bring in an estimated $200,000 in sales, had his case dismissed after the State Appeals Court ruled on Jan. 17 that the search warrants obtained by police did not establish probable cause for illegal cultivation of marijuana on his property.

According to Pavlos, the suit is likely to include the claims of malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil rights violations.

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