BREWER, Maine — Police were alerted last week that something suspicious was happening at 19 Blake St., and after watching the home, they quickly discovered active drug dealers, Police Chief Perry Antone said Wednesday.
“We initiate a surveillance of this residence and we were able to identify some suspects and prepare a search warrant of the residence for illegal drugs,” he said. That led to a total of five arrests last Friday.
In the police sting, three people were charged with aggravated trafficking in OxyContin, a Class A crime; a fourth was charged with drug trafficking, a Class B crime; and a fifth was charged with illegal possession of prescription drugs.
As police prepared to search the home, they saw a man, later identified as Brandon Gray, 20, of Holden, leaving.
Gray was approached by Lt. Chris Martin and “he was found to be in possession of some prescription drugs that were not prescribed to him,” Antone said.
That basically verified to police that residents at the home were dealing in OxyContin, a synthetic narcotic, the police chief said. The street value of OxyContin is around $1 to $1.25 per milligram, he said, adding that the diverted prescription pills in this case were 80 milligram tablets.
“The 80s go for $100 a pill,” Antone said.
After charging Gray with possession of illegal drugs, Jonathan Ward, 20, who lives at the house, was seen getting into a car with Daniel Michaud, 22, of Bangor.
“We made a vehicle stop, at which point they located and arrested Ward,” Antone said. “He was in possession of in excess of 24 OxyContin pills.
“At that time, Daniel Michaud was also arrested and charged with trafficking,” he said.
Both men were charged with aggravated trafficking in OxyContin.
That was around 3 p.m. Friday.
Brewer police officers then executed the search warrant on the Blake Street home “and they found an additional 47 OxyContin tablets,” Antone said. “That puts them in excess of 60.”
The investigation led Brewer police to arrest two others, one being Jarrod Jamieson, 21, a roommate of Ward.
“Mr. Jamieson was located in Bangor and because of the evidence found in the residence and the information they had, he was arrested,” Antone said. “He was found to be in possession of 23 OxyContin 80s.”
Jamieson was charged with aggravated trafficking in OxyContin and refusing to submit to arrest.
Evidence found at the home also led Brewer police Detective Fred Luce, who is an agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency task force based in Bangor, to search for Douglas Morris, 19, who was arrested at his Ohio Street home in Bangor at around 8:30 p.m.
“They seized 60 80-milligram tablets of OxyContin” from Morris, Antone said.
Morris was charged with trafficking in OxyContin, a Class B crime, and refusal to submit to arrest.
“This was a fairly significant case that took a lot of our resources,” Antone said, saying the resulting arrests have made the city streets a little safer. “We think, in the scheme of things, that this was a serious source.”
If Jamieson, Michaud or Ward is convicted of the Class A crime they are charged with, they face a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Those convicted of Class B crimes face a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Jamieson was convicted of possessing marijuana in both February and March of 2008, paying a $350 fine each time, and paid a $300 fine for the sale, use of drug paraphernalia in March 2008, according to court listings in the Bangor Daily News.
In June 2007, he also was convicted of disorderly conduct and was issued a $750 fine.
Morris also has a prior conviction from June for the sale, use of drug paraphernalia, that resulted in a $300 fine, according to newspaper archives.
After their arrests, Jamieson, Michaud, Morris and Ward were taken to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor and later released, a jail official said.
The Brewer drug trafficking investigation continues and additional charges may come later, Antone said.
When people — such as those who called Brewer Police Department last week — decide to report suspicious activities and get involved, it helps those in law enforcement to clean up neighborhoods and communities, the police chief said.
“The people that came forward need to be commended for taking an active role in their community,” Antone said.