BANGOR, Maine — Bail for one of the three people arrested this week on felony drug charges was bumped up Friday to $1 million surety, or $250,000 cash.
By all accounts, the amount of the bail is unusually high for drug-related crimes in Penobscot County.
Bail for Ryan Orton, 27, of Hudson was set Friday during his initial court appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Orton’s bail initially was set at $50,000 cash, an official with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said Thursday.
After his court appearance, Orton was returned to Penobscot County Jail, where he has been held since his arrest on charges of aggravated trafficking in synthetic hallucinogenic drugs, aggravated furnishing in synthetic hallucinogenic drugs, aggravated trafficking in marijuana, aggravated trafficking in psilocybin, and prohibited possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Orton was arrested Wednesday night in Hudson by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, with the assistance of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, Darrell Crandall, MDEA division commander for northern Maine, said in a news release issued Thursday morning.
Also arrested in connection with the alleged drug trafficking operation were Orton’s girlfriend, Alyssa Farrington, 20, of Hudson, who was arrested Wednesday night, and Kristy Harris, 29, of Bangor, who was arrested the next day.
Farrington was charged with trafficking in synthetic hallucinogenic drugs, furnishing synthetic hallucinogenic drugs, trafficking in marijuana and trafficking in psilocybin. She has been released on $750 cash bail.
Harris was charged with aggravated trafficking in oxycodone. She remained behind bars Friday evening, a jail official confirmed. Her bail initially was set at $15,000 cash but was amended to $25,000 surety, or $5,000 cash, a jail official said.
Crandall said Thursday that the multiagency investigation began when Bangor police contacted the MDEA in the fall of 2011 saying they suspected Orton of selling drugs. Over the next several months, MDEA agents purchased different types of drugs — including MDPV, a component of bath salts — from Orton, he said.
Agents also did surveillance to learn Orton’s routines, identified his associates and determined the MDPV was being illegally imported from China, Crandall said.
Among the items seized from the three suspects during raids at homes in Hudson and Bangor, searches at a cemetery in Hudson, and a storage locker in Newburgh were more than four pounds of bath salts, more than a pound of marijuana, more than 7 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, 316 diverted oxycodone pills, and more than 9 pounds of another substance that is yet to be identified.
Also confiscated were several semiautomatic assault rifles, two semiautomatic handguns, a 12-gauge shotgun, several hundred rounds of ammunition, stun guns, night vision equipment and military-grade ballistic body armor and several thousand in cash, Crandall said.
Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Maine State Police, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office and the Bangor Police Department all assisted in the investigation.
More arrests are anticipated, Crandall said.