Drug agents arrest Milbridge couple, seize $30,000 in heroin

Posted March 20, 2009, at 8:51 p.m.

MILBRIDGE, Maine — State drug agents have arrested a Milbridge couple on drug trafficking charges and have confiscated $30,000 worth of heroin allegedly headed to the couple’s home.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officers arrested Stuart Ray, 47, and his wife, Michelle Ray, 42, on Wednesday at their home in Milbridge. Officers are searching for a third person, Michael Thibeau, 48, of Harrington in connection with the bust.

MDEA agents have suspected the three county residents of importing large amounts of heroin into Maine from Connecticut and have been investigating them for the past two months, according to a press release from Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Acting on a tip, agents working with officers from the Maine State Police and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department stopped a vehicle Thibeau was driving on Route 1 in Hancock County on Tuesday. With the help of a police dog, the officers found 850 bags of heroin hidden inside the air cleaner of the 1999 Subaru. The car was registered to Michelle Ray. Thibeau was released and officers continued their investigation.

On Wednesday, armed with a search warrant, Milbridge police and deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department assisted MDEA agents in a search of the Rays’ home. They found an 10 bags of heroin. At that point, an arrest warrant was issued for Thibeau.

According to agents, the bags of heroin were assembled in 50-bag bundles and stashed in the air cleaner of the vehicle. The drugs allegedly had been picked up earlier in Connecticut and driven to Maine by Thibeau, who then planned to deliver the drugs to the Rays.

Agents said the drugs were destined to be sold in Hancock and Washington counties. They said the trio is suspected of bringing large amounts of heroin into Maine from Connecticut during the past two months.

The Rays were taken to the Washington County Jail where they were charged with aggravated trafficking of heroin. They have since been released on bail.

Agents continue to search for Thibeau who faces aggravated drug trafficking charges. Other arrests are likely, agents said.

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