February 17, 2020
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Down East traffic stop leads to drug charges

WHITING, Maine — A stop for a traffic violation led to the arrest of two women Thursday night who later were charged with multiple drug-related crimes.

Laura Bermudez, 36, of Machias and Melissa Smith, 29, of Machiasport were traveling on Route 189 when deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department spotted them.

Bermudez, who was driving, was arrested and charged with operating after suspension and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, in this instance alcohol, Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith said Friday.

Smith said that Lt. Travis Willey and Deputy Dennis Dorsey of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department searched the vehicle.

“They recovered an amount of processed marijuana that supports a furnishing charge, numerous items of [drug] paraphernalia, hypodermic [needles] that were ‘loaded’ with drugs ready to inject, paraphernalia with testable amounts of felony-level drugs,” he said.

Police also seized $803 and the vehicle.

In addition to the other charges, Bermudez also was charged with unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, Class C; unlawful furnishing of marijuana, Class D; and refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test, Class D.

Smith was charged with unlawful possession of scheduled drugs Class C and unlawful furnishing of marijuana Class D.

Class C crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Class D crimes are punishable by less than one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

Smith’s bail was set at $1,500 unsecured and Bermudez’s was set at $500 cash.

They were released Friday.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency assisted with the case.



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