Two charged in separate Washington County drug busts

Posted July 17, 2009, at 12:56 p.m.

COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine — What began as a case involving a stolen outboard motor resulted Thursday in the arrest of a local man on drug charges.

Washington County deputies seized an undisclosed amount of Canadian-made Oxycontin, 16 firearms, $16,000 in cash, as well as the outboard motor, from the Tibbettstown Road home of Vance Merrit, 72.

Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith said the investigation began last when when Lt. Travis Willey and Sgt. Randy Perry recovered the stolen motor at Merritt’s home. The motor had been reported missing from Jonesport.

During the investigation however, things quickly progressed from stolen property to drug possession. Merritt was arrested and charged with Unlawful Trafficking in Schedule Drugs, class B. Special agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and other Washington County deputies then responded to the scene to assist, Smith said, as a search warrant was executed on Merritt’s property.

Smith said Merritt cooperated with the investigation and is currently cooperating with other ongoing criminal investigations. His bail was set at $50,000 and he remained Friday in the Washington County Jail.

In an unrelated case, Smith said Raymond Brown, 36, of Wilson Beach, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, was arrested in Machias Thursday and charged with acquiring drugs by deception. Smith said Brown picked up a pharmacy prescription belonging to another person.

Brown’s bail was set at $1,000 and he also remains held at the Washington County Jail.

bdnpittsfield@myfairpoint.net

255-0618

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