Ellsworth man charged with trafficking after another man nearly dies from drug

Posted Dec. 15, 2010, at 1:55 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:31 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A city man has been charged with drug trafficking after he allegedly sold methadone to another man who almost died from a reaction to the drug.

Ellsworth police Sgt. Glenn Moshier arrested James Johnston, 35, of Ellsworth on Monday on the charge of aggravated trafficking of Schedule W drugs (methadone), a Class A crime, according to Lt. Harold Page. Such a felony crime is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.

Page said that Johnston allegedly sold the methadone last Saturday to a man whose name has not been released. The man took some of the drug that day and either overdosed or had a nearly fatal reaction to it.

“Basically, he was dead,” Page said. “He had no pulse, and he wasn’t breathing.”

EMTs were able to revive the man, but he spent several days in the hospital. He was released on Wednesday, according to Page.

According to Moshier’s report, the charge was elevated to aggravated trafficking because the alleged transaction took place at Johnston’s residence on Route 1A, which is located within 1,000 feet of Ellsworth High School.

Johnston was arrested on Monday and taken to Hancock County Jail. He was later released on bail. His initial court appearance is set for Jan. 20 in Hancock County Superior Court in Ellsworth.

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