LOWELL -- A 34-year-old city man with a prior masked armed-robbery conviction was arrested at gunpoint Wednesday after leading Lowell police on a car chase through downtown Lowell when officers suspected him of drug dealing.

As officers chased Hector A. Jimenez, he was allegedly seen tossing items out of his car. But when officers went to retrieve the items, which they suspected were drugs, they couldn't find anything.

In Lowell District Court Thursday, Jimenez, of 30 Burlington Ave., Unit 2, was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty to charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, failure to stop for police and resisting arrest.

According to Capt. Timothy Crowley, Jimenez was driving a rental car with Massachusetts license plates that was not registered to him, prompting a charge of unauthorized use of a motor-vehicle.

No drug charges were filed.

Noting Jimenez was only charged with motor-vehicle offenses in this latest case, prosecutor James Puritz asked for $1,000 cash bail citing Jimenez's state prison sentence for masked armed robbery for the 2008 robbery of a Lowell bank.

According to court documents, Lowell Police's Special Investigations Section was on Middlesex Street just before 11 p.m. Wednesday looking for a silver car suspected in drug activity.

At around 11 p.m., police spotted a gray Dodge and tried to stop the vehicle on Pawtucket Street.


Instead, police allege Jimenez lead police on a high-speed chase through stop signs through the Acre, downtown, and into Belvidere. At the intersection of Hovey Street and Clark Road, a detective said he thought he saw items being thrown from the Dodge.

Cruisers were able to stop the Dodge in front of 901 Andover St. With guns drawn, police were trying to arrest Jimenez when he began to resist. He was subdued and handcuffed.

Police say a search of the Dodge yielded no drugs or drug paraphernalia. Jiminez had $1,180 and no valid license.

No drugs or other paraphernalia were found in the area where officers thought they saw Jimenez throw items out of his car.

Reporter Chelsea Feinstein contributed to this report.