2,000 pills in truck’s bumper at border lead to two arrests

Posted Sept. 30, 2009, at 7:52 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:40 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Maine man and a Canadian man were arrested Tuesday after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found about 1,000 methamphetamine pills in the Maine man’s home in Fort Fairfield and more than 2,000 methamphetamine pills as well as oxycodone pills hidden in the bumper of the New Brunswick man’s pickup truck, according to federal court documents.

Wade Butler, 50, of Fort Fairfield and Anthony Black, 37, of Perth, New Brunswick, appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Butler, who was released on $5,000 unsecured bail, is charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Black was charged with the importation of a controlled substance.

Black was detained pending a bail hearing Monday because he is not a U.S. citizen. It would not be unusual for him to be held without bail pending the resolution of the case.

Butler’s bail conditions include no use of drugs or alcohol and random drug testing, according to court documents. He also must undergo treatment for substance abuse.

The pills were discovered when Black entered the U.S. at the Fort Fairfield crossing about 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to court documents. The white Dodge Dakota pickup was referred for a secondary inspection, according to court documents, but the reason for that was not disclosed.

The stash was discovered when a narcotics detection dog, Griff, alerted to the front bumper of Black’s truck, indicating the presence of narcotics. Three water bottles were found hidden behind the bumper, according to court documents.

“Further inspection of the bottles revealed that they were wrapped in black electrical tape, with coffee grounds and baby powder,” a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement affidavit stated. “These packages were also spray painted black and concealed in back of a piece of cardboard that had been spray painted black. Upon closer inspection, [agents] discovered what appeared to be pills in each.”

A total of 2,108 methamphetamine pills and 82 oxycodone pills were seized in the search of the truck, according to court documents.

Black allegedly told agents that he expected to be paid $1,000 to deliver the pills to Butler in Fort Fairfield.

Investigators made arrangements for the pills to be delivered to Butler about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, so he could be taken into custody. About $14,000 in cash, hidden in a Crown Royal bag inside a cooler, was recovered from his car, according to court documents. Butler allegedly told agents he expected to pay $14,000 for the 2,000 methamphetamine pills Black had hidden under the bumper.

When agents searched Butler’s home another 1,000 methamphetamine pills were found in his basement, according to court documents.

If convicted, both men face up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. Butler most likely will have to forfeit the cash seized when he was arrested.

jharrison@bangordailynews.net

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