April 24, 2018
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Bangor police, MDEA announce major bath salts bust

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A Bangor man was arrested last week after police raided his home and found $71,000 worth of the illegal synthetic drug bath salts and more than $11,000 in cash, according to a press release issued Friday by Bangor police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

On Nov. 10, members of Bangor Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team, who are designated as MDEA resident agents, searched the home of Alan Ketchen, 28, on Blackstone Street, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said in the news release. Ketchen was free on bail after an arrest for possession of scheduled drugs and possession of synthetic hallucinogenic drugs. His bail conditions made him and his residence subject to random searches by police.

The officers found several containers of a white powder they suspected to be bath salts, Edwards said. They also seized hundreds of new, unused retail packages used to market drugs, digital scales, other drug paraphernalia and $1,335 in cash, the sergeant added. Ketchen was arrested, taken to the Penobscot County Jail and charged with violation of conditions of release.

A safe was also found at the residence, but Ketchen had refused to open it, Edwards said.

The officers obtained a search warrant and opened the safe. Inside, they found more than a pound and a half of white powder suspected to be synthetic drugs and $10,000 in cash. The suspected drugs were submitted for chemical analysis.

On Thursday, the laboratory that did the analysis notified the MDEA that the white powder in the safe was, in fact, MDPV, one of the eight synthetic drugs made illegal by Maine’s recently enhanced bath salts law, according to Edwards.

Ketchen now also has been charged with unlawful trafficking in synthetic hallucinogenic drugs, a Class B felony, Edwards said. His initial court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 21. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison as well as fines. The cash, believed to be proceeds from illegal drug sales, will be processed for forfeiture, Edwards said.

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