4 charged in drug smuggling at Piscataquis County Jail

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff
Posted March 29, 2011, at 7:44 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and employees at the Piscataquis County Jail busted a drug smuggling operation at the jail over the weekend, an MDEA regional chief said Tuesday.

An Anson woman who attempted to smuggle the prescription drug Suboxone to an inmate, a Dexter woman who provided the drug, and two inmates expecting to receive the drug have all been charged with drug trafficking, said MDEA Division II Commander Darrell Crandall Jr.

Gretchen Gordon, 18, of Anson who had hidden the drug in the waistband of her pants, was arrested Saturday for trafficking in prison contraband after authorities concluded a weeklong investigation, Crandall said.

Gordon allegedly attempted to smuggle the drug, a semi-synthetic opiate used to treat opiate addiction, to a jail inmate during a scheduled visit, but the move was intercepted by the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department and agents from the MDEA.

Gordon also was summoned for possessing 2 grams of cocaine, which was found in her vehicle after her arrest, Crandall said.

Agents and deputies also charged Samantha Jennings, 20, of Dexter with furnishing the Suboxone to Gordon, trafficking in prison contraband and violation of conditions of release. She was out on bail for a previous charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, according to Crandall.

Jennings’ 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse was seized because it was used to transport the drugs to Gordon at a Dover-Foxcroft residence, he said.

Piscataquis County Jail inmates Douglas Stebbins, 27, of Norridgewock and Michael Drake Jr., 19, of Orneville were charged with trafficking in prison contraband for their involvement in the conspiracy to get the drugs into the jail, Crandall said. Stebbins is serving time for federal firearms charges and Drake for a probation violation.

The investigation is continuing, but it is unlikely others will be charged, Crandall noted.

MDEA agents, deputies and corrections staff worked closely together to stop the smuggling attempt in its tracks, Crandall said. Communication and close working relationships like this are crucial to solving crimes, he noted.

MDEA has an agent assigned full time to investigations in Piscataquis County through a cost-sharing partnership between the agency and the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department. The latter department acquired a U.S. Department of Justice grant to add an officer to its department who was assigned to the MDEA.  MDEA pays a portion of the officer’s salary and provides the equipment and other resources. All MDEA agents are assigned to the agency by municipal, county and state agencies, Crandall said.

Anyone with information on drug crimes is urged to call the MDEA at 1-800-452-6457.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/03/29/news/two-inmates-two-women-charged-in-connection-with-drug-smuggling-at-piscataquis-county-jail/ printed on April 16, 2014