ROCKLAND, Maine — A 32-year-old Rockland man has been charged and another person is being sought in connection with a nearly yearlong investigation into the trading of guns from the midcoast for drugs in Massachusetts.
Charles Dodge was charged Friday with conspiracy to traffic in guns and conspiracy to violate drug laws, according to Maine Drug Enforcement Agency supervisor James Pease. Dodge is being held at the Somerset County Jail in Madison on unrelated charges.
A second person is being sought and will be arrested when they are found, Pease said.
The investigation began when officers raided a room at the Hampton Inn in Thomaston last April which led to the arrest of two New Bedford, Mass., men on drug trafficking charges.
Upon further investigation, the New Bedford (Mass.) Police Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allegedly began seizing from gang members in New Bedford guns that had come from Knox County.
Ten to 15 handguns and one submachine gun from midcoast Maine were recovered from gangs in New Bedford, Pease said. He said he does not believe any of the weapons were used in a violent crime.
Many of the guns had been stolen in burglaries in Knox County and the Waldoboro area, Pease said. Some of the guns were owned by the suspects, who were prohibited from having them because of prior felony convictions.
The two men arrested at the Thomaston hotel — Manny Sylvia, 28, and Angel Acevedo, 20, both of New Bedford — were sentenced last fall to 10 years in prison with all but four years suspended for trafficking in drugs.