Searsport woman pleads not guilty to prescription drugs charge

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 23, 2010, at 12:47 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Searsport woman pleaded not guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to being part of a scheme to mail oxycodone and other prescription drugs from Florida to midcoast Maine.

Shannon Clark, 33, along with Raymond “Andy” Romero, 34, and Vashti Ramcharitar, 30, both of West Melbourne, Fla., were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on the charge of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and the intent to distribute controlled substances.

Clark, who was arrested Monday, was released on personal recognizance bail after entering her plea, according to court documents.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk on Friday ordered Ramcharitar, a native of Trinidad, held without bail pending the resolution of her case. Ramcharitar pleaded not guilty to the drug charge at Friday’s hearing.

Romero is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. He has agreed to be held without bail pending the outcome of the case.

Ramcharitar and Romero were arrested Oct. 15 near the home they shared on Florida’s East Coast. They were held without bail in Florida until U.S. marshals transferred them to Maine earlier this month.

Clark’s exact relationship to the Florida couple is not explained in court documents.

The investigation that led to the trio’s arrest began in August in Waldo County, according to court documents. An unidentified man, described as Ramcharitar’s former boyfriend and the father of her child and who lives in Maine, was questioned on Aug. 9 by an agent with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and a postal inspector about drugs being sent to the ex-boyfriend’s Searsport post office box.

Ramcharitar’s ex-boyfriend, according to court documents, told investigators that he had been receiving packages with between 50 and 100 tablets of Percocet, a prescription painkiller, in the mail from Romero and Ramcharitar over the previous few months. The former boyfriend agreed to help investigators set up a controlled buy from the Florida couple in September.

After a package arrived containing drugs addressed to a post office box in Belfast set up by investigators, law enforcement officers in West Melbourne, Fla., viewed security videos that showed a man matching Romero’s description in the local post office on Sept. 23. The man addressed an Express Mail envelope, then removed a small package from his pants pocket and placed it inside the envelope, before handing it to a postal employee. The package arrived in Belfast two days later, according to court documents.

The unidentified man who cooperated with investigators has not been charged, according to court documents.

If convicted, Clark, Romero and Ramcharitar each face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A conviction also could affect Ramcharitar’s immigration status.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/11/23/news/bangor/searsport-woman-pleads-not-guilty-to-prescription-drugs-charge/ printed on July 30, 2014