June 23, 2018
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Ellsworth man suspected after MDEA heroin raid unlikely to post bail, attorney says

By Mario Moretto, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — An Ellsworth man who was arrested on felony drug trafficking charges after police found a trove of cash, drugs and handguns at his home Wednesday, will likely not make bail, his attorney said Friday.

Matthew Wright, 33, did not enter a plea, but had his first court appearance during a bail hearing Friday afternoon in Ellsworth District Court. Justice Robert Murray set Wright’s bail at $50,000 surety or $10,000 cash, with conditions that Wright not own or consume alcohol or drugs, not possess a firearm, and submit to random search and drug testing.

Wright’s attorney, Steve Juskewitch, said his client lives at home with his mother, and that neither owns property, so bail is unlikely. Juskewitch said after the hearing that his client’s inability to post bail goes to his innocence.

“If he were some big-time drug dealer, he’d have the $10,000 to post bail,” Juskewitch said.

Wright faces two charges of Class A trafficking in a scheduled drug after Maine Drug Enforcement agents found 343 bags of heroin with a street value of $11,000, two handguns, and about 40 grams of another suspicious powder.

Assistant District Attorney William Entwistle said in court Friday that a preliminary field test showed the unidentified substance to be bath salts, but the state is still awaiting results from laboratory testing to know for sure.

Each count of Class A trafficking is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Wright’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 21 in Hancock County Superior Court.

MDEA Division Commander Darrell Crandall said in a news release Thursday that Wright had been under investigation for about a month, during which time heroin and cocaine were both purchased from Wright.

“Additional charges are expected against Wright and other arrests will be made before the investigation is closed,” Crandall wrote.

“Because the safety of the public and our personnel is our primary concern, it causes us great concern that our agents are finding more and more loaded handguns on suspects or stored with illegal drugs,” he wrote. “Guns and drugs simply do not mix.”

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

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