POLICE BEAT

Searsport chemical plant worker arrested on bath salts charge after ‘acting strangely’

Posted Feb. 06, 2012, at 6:52 p.m.
Toran Bragdon
Waldo County Jail
Toran Bragdon

SEARSPORT, Maine — An employee of GAC Chemical Corp. of Searsport who was arrested after “acting strangely” at work eventually was determined to be high on bath salts.

Toran Bragdon, 30, of Searsport was walking back and forth inside the chemical facility in a suspicious manner late in the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 1, according to Chief Dick LaHaye of the Searsport Police Department.

When his employer called police for help, Officer Dennis Remillard of the Searsport Police Department went to the Kidder Point facility, which produces chemicals such as ammonium sulfate.

“[Remillard] determined that he was, in fact, acting kind of strangely,” LaHaye said Monday of Bragdon.

In order to protect both Bragdon and himself, Remillard placed him in handcuffs. After searching him, the officer found five small bags of a white, powderlike substance hidden in an open cigarette package. Another small plastic bag was empty, but contained white powder residue.

Tests later determined that the white powder was the synthetic, illegal hallucinogenic drug known as bath salts.

Bragdon was not violent, LaHaye said, and cooperated with police. He was taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast without incident, the chief said.

After police put together an affidavit for an arrest warrant, Bragdon was arrested Friday night and taken to Waldo County Jail. He was charged with possession of hallucinogenic drugs.

Although Bangor to the north and Rockland to the south have been making headlines for months with bath salts-related arrests and incidents, Waldo County so far has been relatively unscathed by the drug.

A Stockton Springs man was arrested in Belfast in October in a bath salts-related incident.

LaHaye said he thinks Bragdon’s alleged supply of bath salts is the largest yet seen in the county.

“It’s a powerful drug,” the police chief said. “In law enforcement, we know not much good can come of it. It’s user and buyer beware. It’s dangerous.”

Efforts to reach someone at GAC Chemical Corp. for comment Monday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Bragdon was released from jail Saturday, Feb. 4, after paying $250 cash bail.

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