June 20, 2018
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Police confiscate $30,000 worth of drugs in Thomaston hotel room bust

By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Two young men who brought drugs worth more than $30,000 to a Thomaston hotel from Massachusetts were arrested Thursday, according to police.

Officers had been investigating Manny Sylvia, 27, and Angel Acevedo, 19, both of New Bedford, Mass., for selling drugs in the area.

When Sylvia rented Room 104 in the Hampton Inn, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency quickly got a search warrant. When MDEA, Rockland police and Maine State Police entered the hotel room Thursday, they found two bags of drugs between the mattress and the frame of a hotel bed, according to an MDEA police report filed in Knox County Superior Court.

One bag contained 491 oxycodone 30-milligram pills. The other bag held 78 grams of cocaine put into 14 baggies and more than 6 grams of heroin. Two more pills were found in Sylvia’s car and another two on Sylvia, according to James Pease, supervisor of MDEA’s Midcoast Regional Task Force.

“[The drugs] were packaged for resale,” Assistant Attorney General Lisa Bogue said in court Friday afternoon.

When police interviewed them, each man said the drugs belonged to the other.

Acevedo said he and Sylvia did not know anyone in Maine and came to the state only to sell drugs. He added that when police found them they had yet to sell anything.

Each man was charged with one count of class B trafficking oxycodone and one count of class B trafficking of cocaine. The crimes are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine on each count.

Neither man entered a plea Friday afternoon in court.

Superior Court Justice David Kennedy set Sylvia’s bail at $20,000 cash and Acevedo’s at $10,000. The bail was set high because Kennedy said the men could flee.

As of Friday afternoon, both men remained incarcerated at Knox County Jail. If they do make bail, Kennedy stipulated the men must return to their hometowns and are banned from entering Maine except for court matters. They also must report daily to their local police department and cannot talk to each other. The next hearing on this matter is May 25.

Bogue said it is likely Sylvia’s and Acevedo’s crimes will be bumped up to class A felonies because of the large amount of drugs found by police. Class A crimes are punishable by up to 40 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Along with the two men in court Friday was 18-year-old Harley Winchenbach of Waldoboro. Police said they found him taking money from a person in the hotel parking lot the same night as the other drug bust. He also had been seen with both Sylvia and Acevedo. The men had made several phone calls to the teenager and taken many calls from him that night, according to phone records police found. They arrested the teenager for aggravated trafficking in heroin, a class A crime.

“This was based on previous [confidential informant] buys of heroin from Winchenbach,” stated the police report from MDEA.

Winchenbach’s bail was set at $200.

More arrests are expected in this case, according to the Department of Public Safety.

In a separate unrelated drug investigation Friday, Waldoboro police and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office assisted MDEA with the arrest of Dale Griffin, 41, and Michelle Knowlton, 39, both of Waldoboro on charges of aggravated trafficking of oxycodone.

The couple was arrested after a monthlong investigation by the three agencies into the sale of oxycodone in the Waldoboro area, according to police. The charge was upgraded to aggravated because the drug trafficking allegedly took place within 1,000 feet of a school.

The two are being held at the Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset and are likely to appear in Lincoln County court on Monday.

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