Three Maine women have been accused of being associates to a New York City street gang called the Bullies that allegedly used vehicles with hidden compartments and comic book pages soaked in narcotics as part of their multi-state distribution of cocaine, heroin, guns and money between Maine and New York for 3 ½ years.
Jessica Pelkey, 26, of Presque Isle; Amanda Walton, 31, of Portland; and Amanda Huard, 38, address unlisted, were among 11 alleged Bully members or associates named in a criminal complaint unveiled in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The Maine women are each charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and at least 280 grams of crack cocaine.
Walton was also charged with money laundering conspiracy, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Federal authorities including the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allege that the gang moved crack cocaine, heroin and other drugs in vehicles with hidden compartments and stored and sold the drugs in “trap” houses in Maine, according to the complaint, with drug trafficking profits deposited at various banks, including in accounts controlled by two paraprofessionals employed by the New York City Department of Education, according to the statement.
Huard and Walton allegedly registered cars in Maine that were actually located in New York. The use of cars registered to third parties helped the gang mask its movements. The gang also allegedly used commercial buses, according to a 43-page affidavit detailing the charges.
Investigators also claim to have recordings of telephone conversations between gang members and the Maine women where they allegedly speak in code about drug deals. Other conversations mention houses in Ashland, Detroit, Jay, Levant, Portland, Swanville and Troy. Investigators used traces that allegedly allowed them to track the gang’s movements to storage houses in Maine, including deposits made at bank ATMs in Belfast, according to the affidavit.
Investigators raided homes in Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York on Thursday and allegedly found several guns, large amounts of cash, drug manufacturing and packaging supplies and law enforcement paperwork pertaining to criminal investigations and narcotics, including marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.
The drug-soaked comic books were allegedly found in a Rikers Island prison cell that housed a gang member, according to the statement.
The raids and arrests are the culmination of an investigation that began in January 2017, according to the statement.
Walton was arrested in Maine. Huard is at large and Pelkey is already in jail, according to the statement.