Five local and out-of-state crack dealers were arrested in Cherryfield Friday following a 2-hour police standoff, authorities said.
Maine Drug Enforcement agents arrested the group Friday morning, and after a month-long investigation into the Cherryfield drug ring, said Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland.
Authorities arrested county locals Juan Huertes-Borges, 36, of Cherryfield, and Fred Rini, 50, of Harrington. They also arrested Jante Randolph, 27; Jamal Santiago, 18; and Evelyn Westcott, 21, all from the Bronx.
The group is believed to belong to one of several drug trafficking networks that authorities say have gained strength in Washington County and spurred an uptick in violent, drug-fueled crime, McCausland said.
The standoff occurred at Huertes-Borges’s house at 177 Tenan Lane, where agents found drug packaging materials and $8,200 of suspected drug money, McCausland said. The three from the Bronx had allegedly partnered with local dealers by using their home as place to sell drugs and meet customers, he said.
All but one in the group were charged with a felony Class B crime of unlawful trafficking of a scheduled drug, crack cocaine, and creating a police standoff, a class E crime. Rini was charged with the class C crime of unlawful trafficking of a scheduled drug, for crack cocaine.
All were taken to the Washington County Jail in Machias. Westcott, Randolph, and Santiago are held at a $25,000 cash bail, and Huertas-Borges and Rini at a $10,000 cash bail, McCausland said. He did not explain in a press release why the amounts varied.
More charges could follow as authorities continue their investigation, McCausland said.
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