Three from Maine arrested in cocaine case

Posted June 10, 2009, at 11:11 p.m.

MERRIMAC, Mass. — Four people — three of them from Penobscot County — were arrested Sunday night in Massachusetts after police received a tip suggesting they were transporting drugs from New York to Maine.

Arrested on Class B cocaine trafficking charges were:

— Nicholas Norris, 27, of Newport.

— Daniel Borders, 23, of Hermon.

— Courtney Nye, 17, of Bangor.

— Clinton Jennings, 25, of Bronx, N.Y.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, the three men remained behind bars, unable to make $100,000 cash bail, according to Trooper Eric Benson of the Massachusetts State Police Office of Media Relations.

Norris, Borders and Jennings are being held at Essex County Correctional Facility, which houses male inmates, an official from the jail confirmed Wednesday evening.

Nye, who initially was held at a Framingham women’s facility, was released after a court appearance Wednesday, an official from that jail said.

Benson said the arrest was made about 9:30 p.m., about an hour after the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency issued at teletype asking authorities to be on the lookout for a black 1991 Ford Explorer. The SUV was believed to be en route to Maine after having left New York about 4 p.m. that day.

“The information we received indicated that the vehicle was likely to contain a reasonably large amount of cocaine,” Benson said, adding that the MDEA was told the SUV’s occupants would be carrying two ounces of the drug.

The SUV was spotted in the northbound lanes of Interstate 495 by a Massachusetts state trooper who had seen the teletype and set up near I-495 to see if he could locate the SUV.

The trooper spotted the SUV about 9:25 p.m., pulled in behind it and confirmed it was the one sought. As he followed, he saw the SUV drift across traveling lanes several times, Benson said. The trooper then called for backup from Haverhill and Merrimac police.

Benson said police pulled the SUV over in Merrimac and ordered the occupants out. During a subsequent search, police found a large bag filled with a white powder believed to be cocaine on Jennings’ person. They found a small bag and a black cylinder, both containing similar white powder, in Nye’s possession.

Norris, who was driving the SUV, also was issued a summons for defective equipment because the Explorer had a broken taillight and with failure to stay within marked traveling lanes, Benson said.

Benson said all four made initial appearances Monday in Newburyport District Court, where bail was set.

Neither the amount of cocaine seized during the stop nor the street value was available Wednesday.

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