A live alligator and $12,000 worth of drugs were seized Monday during an early afternoon raid in Skowhegan.
Jessica Hutchins, 36, of Skowhegan was charged with multiple counts of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and operating after suspension, according to Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster.
Also charged were: Fred Barlow, 38, of Moscow, who was out on bail on drug trafficking charges, on multiple counts of aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs, and violation of conditions of release; and Randy Willard, 37 of Oakland, who was also out on bail for drug charges, on one count of possession of scheduled drugs and violations of conditions of release.
The charges against Hutchins and Barlow are aggravated due to the amount of the drugs seized and due to the drug trafficking activities taking place within 1,000 feet of the Margaret Chase Smith Elementary School, according to Lancaster.
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Hutchins was allegedly in the middle of a drug sale with Willard about 12:20 p.m. when Somerset County sheriff’s deputies and a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent conducted a search of her black Chevy Cobalt near the Beverage Mart on North Avenue and the Margaret Chase Smith Elementary School, Lancaster said Wednesday. Barlow was a passenger in Hutchins’ car, Lancaster said.
Police seized about 100 grams of crack and powder cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, drug paraphernalia and cash from the vehicle, Lancaster said.
Police then searched Hutchins’ Water Street home, where they allegedly found another 4.5 grams of crack and powder cocaine, along with drug paraphernalia, money and a two-foot-long alligator, according to Lancaster.
The alligator, which is illegal to possess in Maine, was turned over to the Maine Warden Service, Lancaster said. The drugs were estimated to be worth $12,000.
Hutchins is being held on $10,000 bail at the Somerset County Jail in Madison. Barlow and Willard are being held without bail at the county jail.
They will make their first court appearance at Somerset County Unified Criminal Court on Oct. 7.
Additional charges could be filed after review by the Somerset County district attorney’s office, Lancaster said.