Man arrested on Thanksgiving with drugs in body cavity, agents say

Posted Nov. 29, 2010, at 3:51 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:55 a.m.
Robert Goodwin. Photo courtesy of Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. w/Trotter story
Robert Goodwin. Photo courtesy of Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. w/Trotter story

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Tremont man is facing a Class A felony drug trafficking charge after police arrested him in Ellsworth on Thanksgiving Day and later recovered 20 grams of heroin from one of his body cavities, according to state officials.

Robert Goodwin, 41, is facing the elevated Class A charge, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $50,000 or less, because of a prior drug trafficking conviction, according to Darrell Crandall, division commander for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

In a prepared statement, Crandall indicated Monday afternoon that MDEA agents pulled Goodwin’s rented car over in Ellsworth on Thanksgiving morning. With the help of drug detection dogs, police found three retail bags of heroin and $3,000 cash on Goodwin.

Police suspected Goodwin had secreted a larger quantity of the drugs in a body cavity and obtained a search warrant in order to compel Goodwin to submit to an X-ray, Crandall wrote.

“The X-ray revealed evidence of a foreign object inside Goodwin’s body,” Crandall indicated.

Later that evening, police recovered 20 grams of heroin from Goodwin’s large intestine, the drug investigator said.

“The estimated street value [of 20 grams of heroin], presuming it was not going to be diluted, is over $6,000,” Crandall indicated. “If it was cut to increase the volume it would be worth considerably more. While this entire ordeal was difficult and robbed the agents of a well-deserved holiday at home, we are pleased with the result.”

As part of the investigation in the weeks leading up to Goodwin’s arrest, police had purchased OxyContin directly from Goodwin, according to the statement. The day before they stopped and arrested him, police heard Goodwin was headed out of state in a rental car to buy drugs that he planned to sell later in Hancock County, the statement indicated.

Goodwin’s prior drug conviction stemmed from an incident that happened in Tremont on Jan. 13, 2005. In that incident, MDEA agents interrupted a heroin deal in the parking lot of a local church.

Goodwin was at the steering wheel of a car and tried to speed off as an MDEA agent grabbed and hung on to him through the open window of the vehicle. As the agent was hanging on to Goodwin during the attempted escape, Goodwin’s car and that of another suspect collided before each driver again tried to speed away.

The other man was caught after a brief car chase while Goodwin’s escape route was blocked by an MDEA pickup truck, which he struck immediately before he was apprehended. The agent who grabbed Goodwin was not seriously injured and the MDEA truck was damaged only slightly, MDEA agents said at the time.

As a result of the 2005 arrest and subsequent conviction, Goodwin was sentenced to serve four years and four months in prison for aggravated drug trafficking, six months for refusing to submit to arrest, and one year for reckless conduct, MDEA agents indicated in Monday’s statement.

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