Orient man charged in connection with triple homicide arrested on drug charges

Robert Strout
Robert Strout
Posted Aug. 04, 2011, at 8:37 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 05, 2011, at 12:47 p.m.
Brianna Bonness
Brianna Bonness
Craig Strout Desmond
Craig Strout Desmond

ORIENT, Maine — Three individuals, including an Orient man who was charged in connection with a triple homicide in Amity in June 2010, were charged with drug offenses Thursday.

Darrell Crandall, division commander of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, said Craig Strout-Desmond, 24, and Brianna Bonness, 24, both of Ellsworth, were charged with trafficking in oxycodone and Bonness also was charged with possession of drugs and violation of conditions of release.

Bonness had been on bail for a charge of attempted burglary.

Robert Strout, 64, of Orient, who Crandall said is Strout-Desmond’s grandfather, was charged with aggravated furnishing of oxycodone, a Class B charge, and violation of conditions of release.

According to Crandall, MDEA agents have been conducting a lengthy surveillance operation in northern Maine.

On Wednesday, a state trooper relayed a tip to MDEA agents that Strout-Desmond and Bonness soon would be leaving the Ellsworth area with the intent to pick up prescription drugs they later would sell.

Agents found the pair and followed their vehicle from Ellsworth into Bangor and north on Interstate 95. The couple reportedly left the interstate in Lincoln and traveled back roads through Penobscot and Washington counties before stopping at Robert Strout’s home in Orient.

The vehicle then was followed back to Ellsworth, where it was stopped and searched around midnight, according to Crandall.

Agents reportedly seized 170 tablets of the prescription painkiller oxycodone from a plastic bag in the center console of the vehicle. The drugs are valued at about $3,400.

Strout-Desmond was arrested and Bonness received a summons.

On Thursday, agents went to Robert Strout’s home to interview him and arrested him a short time later. Agents developed evidence that Strout had furnished more than 150 tablets of oxycodone to Strout-Desmond on at least five separate occasions.

Strout was arrested last September and charged with hindering apprehension and arson for his alleged role in helping conceal evidence in a triple homicide investigation in the Aroostook County town of Amity. Strout reportedly helped the alleged killer in the case, Thayne Ormsby, 21, of Ellsworth, conceal evidence and burn the vehicle of one of the victims.

Police say that Strout admitted helping to conceal evidence in the killings. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges. He made bail shortly after his arrest and returned to his Orient home.

Strout-Desmond was taken to the Hancock County Jail. His bail was set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 surety.

Strout was taken to the Aroostook County Jail, where his bail was set at $5,000 cash. If convicted of the drug offenses, Strout and Strout-Desmond both face up to 10 years in prison.

MDEA agents were assisted in the investigation and arrests by the Maine State Police and the Ellsworth Police Department.

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