BANGOR, Maine — Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officers have arrested 17 local people in the last couple of weeks for trafficking in OxyContin, cocaine, methadone and marijuana, according to division Cmdr. Darrell Crandall late last week.
“It has been a busy month or so for MDEA agents assigned to the North Central District Task Force, based in Bangor,” he said Friday in an e-mail.
Undercover agents purchased drugs from the suspected dealers in what are called “controlled buys,” then arrested them at a later date after collecting more evidence and information, Crandall said.
“Those listed … are accused of selling drugs directly to informants and-or undercover agents during the course of these investigations,” he said.
Some of those arrested knew each other and apparently worked together, and others were operating independently, Garry Higgins, MDEA supervisory special agent for the North Central Regional Taskforce, said Friday.
The suspects, who were all arrested in recent weeks, are facing felony drug trafficking charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for each count. They likely will be arraigned in Penobscot County Superior Court in the coming months.
Six local people were arrested for allegedly selling oxycodone, which is commonly sold under the brand name OxyContin: Sharon Perkins, 34, of Bangor; James Abram, 44, of Brewer; Cathy Abram, 39, of Brewer; Matthew Pete, 26, of Orono; Michael Garland, 52, of Brewer; and Randall Woods, 41, of Old Town.
The following were charged with selling cocaine: Daniel Hines, 31, of Bangor; Rebecca Breau, 27, of Veazie; Meghann Perry-Stewart, 35, of Bangor; and Christopher Mansell, 36, of Bangor.
Dana Chapman, 47, of Brewer was charged with selling OxyContin and cocaine; and Percy Martin, 37, of Bangor was charged with selling Adderall and methadone.
Agents also charged Willard Putnam, 49, of Old Town with aggravated trafficking in marijuana and prescription tranquilizers, as well as violation of probation, after agents purchased drugs from him.
During a search of Putnam’s home, “agents seized an indoor marijuana-growing operation, crack cocaine and prescription pills,” Crandall said.
Putnam, who was on probation for a previous drug trafficking offense, was not alone when he was arrested. With Putnam were his roommate Tommy Porter, 52, who was charged with trafficking in marijuana, and Jennifer Cote, 32, of Houlton, who was charged with possession of cocaine.
Agents also charged Sheila Badger, 41, of Bangor with trafficking in prison contraband after asking Bernard Landry, 35, to smuggle methadone into Penobscot County Jail on her behalf. Landry also was charged, pleaded guilty and is serving a 42-month sentence, with all but six months suspended for his part in the transaction.
“Agents are also actively seeking a half-dozen other suspects from whom drugs have been purchased in the past couple of months,” Crandall said. The “Penobscot County drug arrests highlight a continuing problem in our communities.”
The partnership with area police is invaluable in busting drug dealers, Crandall said. Police officers and deputies from Bangor, Brewer, Old Town, Orono and Veazie, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department and the Maine Department of Corrections were critical in making the arrests, he said.
Those with information on drug trafficking in their communities may contact the MDEA at 800-452-6457.