SOUTH THOMASTON, Maine — A 36-year-old South Thomaston man was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with trafficking in methamphetamine after state, federal and local police agencies conducted a search of a suspected meth lab on Route 131.
Paul Mahonen, who was home when agents arrived, was arrested and charged with Class B trafficking in methamphetamine, according to a news release from the Maine Department of Public Safety. Mahonen is at the Knox County Jail in Rockland with his bail set at $5,000 cash.
The house at 542 St. George Road, also known as Route 131, was the same house where 53-year-old Leonard Wells of Greenbush was arrested last week, according to the state Department of Public Safety. Wells was found hiding in the house and in possession of 20 grams of bath salts. He had been out on bail from his January arrest in one of the l argest bath salt seizures in Maine, in which 8 pounds of the drug reportedly was seized. Three others also were charged in that case, which led to the reported seizure of another 10 pounds of bath salts in Texas.
Tuesday’s search of the South Thomaston home began at 11:30 a.m. Public safety officials were at the home until about 2:30 p.m.
The property consists of a two-story house, garage and several sheds. Police in hazardous material outfits were on the property. Yellow police tape cordoned off the property and a South Thomaston ambulance was parked along Route 131.
This was the third suspected meth lab that the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has reportedly uncovered so far this year — the two others were in Houlton and Smyrna. There were 13 alleged meth labs discovered in Maine last year. Because of the volatility and explosive nature of the chemicals, responders must wear protective gear and each response costs several thousand dollars. Most of the labs in the past year have been run by small-time operators cooking the highly addictive concoction for their own use, according to the news release.
MDEA agents were assisted Tuesday at the scene by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, South Thomaston Fire and EMS, state police and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation will continue and additional arrests are possible.