Police say probe reveals bath salts trafficking ring in Woolwich, Topsham and Bath

Posted Jan. 08, 2014, at 1:05 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 08, 2014, at 3:32 p.m.
Randolph Pelkey
Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Department
Randolph Pelkey

WOOLWICH, Maine — The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday released details of an investigation that allegedly uncovered a bath salts trafficking ring in Topsham, Bath and Woolwich.

On Dec. 19, deputies responded to a call about a “domestic-type disturbance” involving a firearm at 1409 Middle Road in Woolwich, where they allegedly discovered a loaded handgun in the possession of Randolph Pelkey, 51.

A search of Pelkey’s van allegedly turned up approximately 15 grams of a substance initially thought to be methamphetamine, packaged to indicate Pelkey was trafficking in drugs, along with a digital scale and a drug debt ledger, according to a release Wednesday from the sheriff’s office. The crystal was later identified as bath salts — which the sheriff’s office says have recently been found in Sagadahoc County.

Further investigation of the drug trafficking ring allegedly indicated it primarily operated in Topsham, Bath and Woolwich, but led officials from the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office, Bath Police Department and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency to Standish.

On Dec. 20, 34-year-old Tyler Garland was arrested in Standish after officials allegedly found him in possession of 20 to 30 grams of bath salts, as well as a small amount of heroin.

“Investigators believe that Garland was obtaining the bath salts illegally from a foreign country and then supplying the substance through a distribution network that involved Pelkey and others,” the release states.

Garland was charged with Class B unlawful trafficking of bath salts and unlawful possession of heroin, as well as unlawful trafficking in prison contraband after he allegedly hid oxycodone on his person when he was taken to jail, according to Chief Deputy Brett Strout of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office.

Garland remained at Cumberland County Jail on Wednesday, held on $1,060 bail.

Pelkey was taken to the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, where he was subsequently arraigned on charges of reckless conduct with a firearm. He was able to post bail, according to the release.

Strout said additional charges are expected for other individuals.

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