POLICE BEAT

Brewer police seize nearly a pound of bath salts, arrest man on several charges

Posted Nov. 23, 2011, at 8:36 p.m.
Ryan Ellis
Penobscot County Jail
Ryan Ellis

BREWER, Maine — A tip about suspicious activity at a Brewer motel led to the arrest Tuesday of a Bangor man on charges of aggravated trafficking in a synthetic hallucinogenic drug, possession of concealed weapons, having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, trafficking in dangerous knives and refusal to submit to arrest or detention.

The tip also led to the seizure of nearly a pound of bath salts — with an estimated street value of $67,000 — four firearms and a switchblade, Brewer police Lt. Chris Martin said Wednesday afternoon.

Ryan Ellis, 32, was taken to Penobscot County Jail after his arrest Tuesday evening. He was released Wednesday night on $2,000 cash bail, a jail official said.

Martin said the series of events that led to Ellis’ arrest began when Brewer police received the tip and launched an investigation that culminated shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, when officers pulled Ellis over on Parker Street.

The stop occurred just after Ellis left a motel at which he apparently was conducting business. Martin said police who were watching him saw him put a bag in his truck.

When he was stopped, Ellis allegedly resisted officers’ attempts to detain him. He eventually was subdued and placed under arrest, Martin said.

Among the items found in his vehicle during a search were what Martin described as a “considerable amount” of bath salts, three firearms, two of which were loaded, and a switchblade. A search of the motel room he had just left turned up more bath salts and an additional firearm.

Martin said the drug trafficking charge was elevated to aggravated because the alleged drug operation took place near the Brewer Auditorium and children’s park and as such, is subject to tougher drug-free zone rules that apply to areas within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and similar public facilities.

Detectives Paul Gauvin and Fred Luce, Detective Sgt. Jay Munson and Officers Liz Kelley and Rodney Gerald played roles in the investigation, Martin said.

Martin said the investigation into the alleged drug operation is continuing and involves several other law enforcement agencies.

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