Two charged with aggravated drug trafficking

Posted Feb. 20, 2009, at 9:52 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Knox County drug enforcement agents made two arrests this week on charges of aggravated drug trafficking, including arresting a registered sex offender.

Wayne Curtis, 49, of Bristol was arrested and charged Wednesday with aggravated trafficking of the scheduled drug hydrocodone, another name for the painkiller Vicodin. Curtis is a registered sex offender, according to Jim Pease, the supervisory special agent with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Hydrocodone is an opiate-based painkiller with a street value of $8 to $12 per pill.

“He was selling a substantial amount in the Rockland area,” Pease said.

The alleged crime took place in a drug-free zone in Rockland, which is why Curtis was charged with aggravated trafficking, according to Pease.

Aggravated trafficking is a Class A offense and has a minimum mandatory sentence of four years, Pease said.

Pease’s agency investigated Curtis for a month before making the arrest. Curtis was taken to Knox County Jail, and was released on bail Wednesday night, Pease said.

Another area man was arrested Friday at his home after a two-month investigation into his alleged sales of Suboxone, Pease said.

Joseph Thurston, 21, of South Thomaston was charged with aggravated trafficking and taken to Knox County Jail, with bail set at $10,000 cash. According to jail officials, he was still behind bars Friday evening.

Suboxone is a prescription drug designed to help people quit using opiates, Pease said, and has a street value of $8 to $10 a pill.

“Thurston was not prescribed it,” he said.

The alleged drug sales took place in a drug-free zone close to the Lincoln Street Center for Arts and Education, although Pease said that students weren’t involved in the illicit transactions.

Pease also confirmed information from the Maine State Police that Edward Rogers, 40, a Tenants Harbor man, was arrested Feb. 12 after drug enforcement agents found 30 marijuana plants growing in a bedroom and a pound of the processed drug in his home.

“Rogers, who has a long criminal record, is charged with cultivating and trafficking marijuana,” according to a press release from the Maine State Police.

Rogers was taken to the Knox County Jail Feb. 12 and released on bail that same day, according to jail officials.

Pease said he couldn’t comment on the case, which is pending. All three of the drug arrests were results of joint investigations with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockland Police Department.

“We see a lot of [trafficking] in this area,” Pease said. “It has to do with several different types of businesses here that are cash-driven.”

Pease also mentioned that there is a drug trafficking relationship between the Rockland area and New Bedford, Mass.

“Rockland and New Bedford have strong ties due to the fishing industry,” he said.

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