May 26, 2018
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Orono police, MDEA arrest 2 on felony drug charges

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

ORONO, Maine — Orono police and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officers arrested two local men on felony drug charges Tuesday evening after a raid at the Orchard Trails apartment they were living in turned up cocaine, OxyContin, Ecstacy and an undisclosed amount of cash.

The arrests were the product of a search warrant that Orono police obtained after an investigation indicated a drug trafficking operation was going on in the apartment, Orono police Capt. Josh Ewing said Wednesday.

The search warrant was executed shortly after 5 p.m., with assistance from MDEA agents, Ewing said.

Matthew Lynch, 28, formerly of Hampden, was charged with aggravated drug trafficking after police found what Ewing said was enough OxyContin pills to elevate the charge to Class A status.

Lance Bradford, 24, whose address is listed as Hermon, was charged with trafficking in cocaine after police found what Ewing described as a “substantial” amount of the drug in his possession. Ewing said the search turned up enough of the substance to elevate the trafficking charge against him to Class B status.

After their arrests, both suspects were taken to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor, where both were being held until Friday, when they are scheduled to make court appearances at the Penobscot Judicial Center, a jail official confirmed Wednesday night.

Bail for Lynch has been set at $5,000. Bradford’s bail has been set at $3,500.

Ewing said Bradford likely also will be charged with felony drug furnishing, because the scheduled drug Ecstacy also was found in his possession.

According to Ewing, Lynch was a resident of the raided apartment. Bradford, however, “was squatting. He was living there unbeknownst to Orchard Trails. His name was not on the lease.”

Police also seized an undisclosed amount of cash believed to be the result of drug transactions, Ewing said.

A third person who was in the apartment at the time of the raid was not charged, Ewing said. Also not charged were two people who stopped by the apartment, purportedly to purchase drugs, during the raid, he said.

According to criminal histories that the Bangor Daily News obtained from the State Bureau of Identification, both men have extensive criminal histories.

Lynch’s convictions date back to 2001 and include fines and jail sentences for theft, assault, criminal use of disabling chemicals, unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, probation violation, felony drug trafficking, criminal mischief, drunken driving, operating after habitual offender revocation and domestic violence assault.

Bradford’s criminal history dates back to 2003, when was was arrested as a juvenile.

According the BDN archives, Bradford was being held at Charleston Youth Development Center when he turned 18 in January 2005  and waived a hearing that would have determined whether he would face charges as an adult or a juvenile.

He then pleaded guilty to a burglary spree as a juvenile that included stealing five handguns. He was sentenced to four years in prison with all but nine months suspended

If convicted as a juvenile, Bradford could have been sentenced to remain at the Charleston facility until his 21st birthday. He also would not have been credited for time served. He also was sentenced to three years of probation and was ordered to pay $4,500 in restitution to the four victims.

A county prosecutor said at that time that Bradford and his brother Lucas Bradford, then 19 of Bangor, went on the burglary spree the weekend of Nov. 29-30, 2003, to pay off an out-of-state cocaine dealer.

As an adult, he has racked up convictions for felony burglary, felony theft, illegal possession of a firearm or crossbow by a convicted felon and assault.

His most recent conviction, in February of last year, was for felony burglary, assault and drug possession. He was sentenced to one year in jail.

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