BREWER, Maine — State drug agents arrested four people Wednesday — including a New York City man who was charged with murder in 1991 — in connection with an investigation into a drug trafficking operation based in a Brewer motel located within 1,000 feet of Brewer High School and the Brewer Auditorium and park.
The arrests, carried out in a sting Wednesday night, included a tense scuffle during which the New Yorker allegedly tried to grab holstered firearms from drug agents, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said.
All four suspects remained behind bars late Thursday, MDEA Director Roy McKinney and Division Commander Darrell Crandall said in announcing the arrests.
The suspects were identified as:
• Shawn Bradley, 37, of New York City, who has been charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking in crack cocaine. The charges were elevated to Class A felony status because Bradley had a prior felony drug conviction and because his alleged drug activity took place in a school zone and a drug-free zone. His bail has been set at $25,000.
• Leroy Dunn, 29, of Hampden, who was charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking in crack cocaine, elevated to Class A felony status because his alleged drug activity took place in a school zone and a drug-free zone. His bail has been set at $1,500 cash.
• Natasha Perkins, 20, of Bangor, who was charged with possession of hydrocodone, a Class C felony. Her bail has been set at $2,500.
• Anthony McGilvray, 23, of Dixmont, who was arrested on warrants unrelated to Wednesday’s case.
The series of events that led to the arrests began Wednesday afternoon, when MDEA agents received a tip that Dunn was staying at a motel in Brewer and was selling crack cocaine and the controlled prescription drug Suboxone from his room, MDEA officials said.
During their subsequent investigation, the agents purchased a small retail quantity of crack cocaine and Suboxone from Dunn. Further investigation indicated that the source of Dunn’s crack was Bradley, who was staying in a different room in the same motel, the MDEA said.
Later in the day, agents purchased another small quantity of crack from Dunn, who once again allegedly obtained the crack from Bradley. As the transaction unfolded, Bradley left the motel in a vehicle. Agents followed. When Bradley stopped his car in a driveway on North Main Street shortly before 6 p.m., the agents confronted him.
At that point, Bradley became combative and aggressively resisted the drug agents’ attempts to take him into custody, the MDEA said. The agents reported that Bradley tried to grab their holstered guns during the scuffle.
Brewer police officers, Maine State Police troopers and Penobscot County sheriff’s deputies were called in for backup, and Bradley was arrested without further incident.
Agents seized 4.5 grams of crack cocaine valued at $600 and $1,400 in cash from Bradley at the time of his arrest, MDEA officials said.
MDEA agents and other law enforcement officers then secured three rooms at the Brewer motel and obtained search warrants for those rooms. At that time, they arrested Dunn on the drug trafficking charge, McKinney and Crandall said.
Perkins was arrested for drug possession after agents found hydrocodone in one of the rooms. They arrested McGilvray on three unrelated arrest warrants after they found him hiding behind the shower curtain in one of the rooms.
As their investigation continued, MDEA agents learned that Bradley is wanted by the state of New York for violating his probation in connection with a felony charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.
Agents also learned that Bradley was arrested in New York in 1991 on a charge of depraved-indifference murder. Bradley, however, ultimately was convicted of robbery and sentenced to a prison term of 76 months to 19 years, MDEA officials said.
If convicted of the current Maine charges, Bradley faces up to 30 years in prison, MDEA officials said. He also will have to face the probation violation in New York.
“This trend of out-of-state drug traffickers coming to Maine and setting up shop in motels or apartments is not new,” McKinney said Thursday. “We have been targeting this activity for some time and will continue.”
He praised “the tenacity of the agents and the quick response and support from our law enforcement partners. We are thankful that this incident did not result in any serious injuries.”