EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Two local women were charged with drug trafficking after Police Chief Cameron McDunnah found them in a car at a convenience store involved in what appeared to be an illegal transaction, he said Friday.
Kari Cote, 31, of East Millinocket, and Melanie Boyington, 45, of Medway, were charged Thursday with unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, a Class B felony. Boyington was also charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, McDunnah said.
McDunnah said he received a tip on Thursday indicating that a drug deal would be occurring in the parking lot of a Route 157 business at about half past noon.
“The tip included the type of vehicle and the people involved,” McDunnah said Friday.
McDunnah went to the lot, saw a Dodge Charger and women matching the descriptions he was given. He also recognized Cote from previous dealings with her, he said.
McDunnah said they admitted to having drugs in the car. Boyington gave him a small bottle of Ritalin and several sequestered Ritalin pills, which McDunnah believed would be used in the sale, that were hidden in the console of the car. A search of the vehicle to which the suspects consented revealed a small amount of marijuana plus several small glass pipes that belonged to Boyington, he said.
The suspects paid $60 cash bail and are due to appear at Bangor Judicial Center on Aug. 14, McDunnah said, though the case will likely be referred to a grand jury.
McDunnah said he believes significant illegal drug activity occurs in the Katahdin region. Catching those involved remains “one of the top priorities of the department,” despite the layoff of two officers in March, he said.
“There is definitely a prescription drug problem here in the Katahdin region, and we want to remain active in addressing it as best we can,” McDunnah said.
The department’s roster was cut from four to two full-time officers, McDunnah and Sgt. Kevin Giberson, when town officials opted to lay off four town workers in response to Great Northern Paper Co. LLC’s nonpayment of its $657,900 property tax bill. A part-time fill-in and a full-time “floating” position in the Public Works Department were also cut.
McDunnah counters the loss of the two positions with the use of reserve, or part-time, officers. The department, which also covers Medway, has 15 reserve officers on its roster, he said.
“They are vital to the department,” McDunnah said. “They are covering a lot of hours and providing very good service.”
The GNP tax bill remains unpaid.