25 from Maine, N.Y. charged in sweeping Downeast drug bust

The investigation involved more than 30 Maine drug agents, troopers, deputies, the FBI, Border Patrol, Secret Service, U.S. marshals and more.download (1).png

BANGOR, Maine — Fifteen people from Maine and 10 from New York were either arrested or charged this week as part of a major drug trafficking bust, involving a joint effort between 13 county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Maine U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency announced the arrests and charges Friday, which arose from an investigation into drugs being trafficked from New York City to Washington County and Hancock County in Maine.

Seven search warrants were executed Thursday, the U.S. attorney’s office said, resulting in the seizure of several firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun and large amounts of crack and fentanyl.

Arrested and charged Thursday by criminal complaint in federal court were the following 14 people with the charge or charges proceeding:

From Maine…

  • Vestin Drisko, 40, of Beals Island; and Renita Honea, 57, of Jonesport, with distributing crack and heroin, and maintaining a drug-involved premises
  • Chandra Hanscom, 44, of Cutler, with distributing heroin
  • Cody Look, 30, of Cutler, with possession with intent to distribute crack
  • Barry McCarthy, 43, of Columbia; and Ralph Sawtelle, 27, of Lubec, with maintaining a drug-involved premises
  • Robert McKenna, 48, of Indian Township, with distributing crack
  • William Smeal, 32, of Hancock, with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl

From New York…

  • Jordy Collado, 18, of New York, New York, with possession with intent to distribute crack
  • Miquel Angel Franco, 22, and Milo Danell Germany, 21, both of Bronx, New York, with possession with intent to distribute cocaine
  • Cinque Grasette, 42, of New York, New York, with distributing crack and heroin
  • Mujahedeen Hasan, 28, of Bronx, New York, with distributing crack
  • Julian Lloyd, 24, of Bronx, New York, with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl

Kevin Leroy Barner, 53, of Bronx, New York, was arrested Thursday after having been charged by indictment March 28 with possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack.

RELATED: 2 New Yorkers charged with arson, selling heroin in Richmond

Additionally, charged Friday by criminal complaint in federal court were the following three people with the charge or charges proceeding:

  • Christopher Cruz, 30, and Christopher Martinez, 29, both of Bronx, New York, with possession with intent to distribute crack
  • Timothy Cates, 40, of Cutler, Maine, with maintaining a drug-involved premises

If convicted, Barner faces between five and 40 years in prison and up to a $5,000,000 fine.

Drisko, Honea, Hanscom, Look, McKenna, Smeal, Collado, Franco, Germany, Grasette, Hasan, Lloyd, Cruz and Martinez face up to 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine for the drug trafficking charges.

Drisko, Honea, McCarthy, Sawtelle and Cates face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for the maintaining a drug-involved premises charges.

Part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program, the investigation included: the MDEA; Maine State Police; FBI; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Border Patrol; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Marshals Service; and Maine Marine Patrol.

The MDEA separately announced Friday that it had charged seven people — six from Maine and one from New York — with drug trafficking, as part of the aforementioned investigation involving more than 30 MDEA agents:

From Maine…

  • Jessica Dana, 36, of Indian Township; and Rachel Dwyer, 46, of Lubec, with unlawful trafficking crack
  • Amber Douglas, 24, of Lubec, with unlawful trafficking heroin
  • Wayne Dube, 43, of Jonesport; William Gatcomb, 49, of Sullivan; and John Moholland, 50, of Princeton, with aggravated trafficking crack

From New York…

  • Craig Price, 29, of New York, New York, with unlawful trafficking heroin/crack

Cates, who was also charged in federal court, was charged separately by Maine drug agents with unlawful possession of fentanyl.

The mortal remains of Thomas Lynch’s, missing since September 2018, recovered near Stillwater Avenue in Bangor

Bangor Police and the Maine Warden Service found the remains in a wooded area.
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BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Police and the Maine Warden Service found human remains in a wooded area near 900 Stillwater Avenue on Sunday.

The Warden Service called Bangor Police around 10 a.m. Sunday to tell them they had found the remains.

Both the fiancee and the daughter of Thomas Lynch say that the remains discovered are his.

RELATED: Police ask for help in locating missing Bangor man

Police said in March of this year that Lynch went missing in September of 2018. Police said he was last seen entering a wooded area near 829 Stillwater Avenue in Bangor.

Missing Thomas Lynch

about 4 months ago

September 8th to December 28th. 
No news. No leads. Praying for answers. One day at a time. Please, will someone come forward. Praying.

 

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Sgt. Wade Betters wrote in an e-mail that the remains have been recovered and will be sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for identification.

900 Stillwater Avenue is the address of a Wal Mart in Bangor.

We will update this story when more information becomes available

20-year old Mother Alyssa Murch charged with child’s meth overdose from breastfeeding

Alyssa Murch, 20, made her first court appearance Wednesday. She is facing charges after her 7-month-old child’s meth overdose from tainted breast milk.

BANGOR, Maine — “First case, Alyssa Murch,” announced Judge Bruce Jordan inside a Penobscot County courtroom in Bangor Wednesday morning.

Murch, 20, is facing charges after her 7-month-old child’s methamphetamine overdose from tainted breast milk.

Alyssa Murch in court photo
NCM

She was visibly tearful in the courtroom as the judge detailed her rights.

RELATED: Mother charged after baby overdoses on meth via breastfeeding

Murch is facing a felony charge of aggravated unlawful furnishing of scheduled drugs, a felony charge of domestic violence assault on a child less than 6-years-old, and endangering the welfare of a child, which is a misdemeanor.

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According to Bangor police, officers were called to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 of last year after Murch’s baby was admitted to the hospital and was found to be suffering from a meth overdose.

By the time officials arrived, the baby had regained consciousness and was being treated.

That child is now in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services and Murch is only allowed supervised visitation.

The judge did not require Murch to make a plea but as a condition of her bail she was ordered to stay away from drugs and cannot have unsupervised contact with her child.

Murch’s next scheduled court appearance is April 9.

University of Maine football player Ramon Jefferson arrested for domestic violence assault

Police arrested Ramon Jefferson Wednesday night. Jefferson is a second-year running back for the Black Bears.

OLD TOWN, Maine — Old Town Police arrested a member of the Maine Black Bears football team on Wednesday night on domestic violence assault and criminal mischief charges.

Police arrested Ramon Jefferson, a second-year running back, who redshirted in 2017.

Bangor Police said the victim lives in Bangor, which is where the assault occurred.

Old Town Police arrested Jefferson at his home in Old Town.

Jefferson posted bail last night, according to police.

Jackie Mundry

@j_mundry

Police confirm UMaine running back, Ramon Jefferson, was arrested for a domestic violence assault

Mother Alyssa Murch charged after baby overdoses on meth via breastfeeding

Police say Alyssa Murch, 20, of Bangor, is facing charges of aggravated drug furnishing and child welfare endangerment

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BANGOR, Maine — A Bangor woman has been charged by police after her infant was hospitalized from a drug overdose.  The baby received the methamphetamines from the mother’s breast milk.

According to Bangor Police, Alyssa Murch, 20, of Bangor, is facing charges of aggravated furnishing of a scheduled drug, a felony, as well as endangering the welfare of a child.

Police were called to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 of last year after Murch’s baby was admitted to the hospital and was found to be suffering from a methamphetamine overdose.

By the time officials arrived, the 7-month-old baby had regained consciousness and was being treated.

The baby’s medical status at this time is unknown.

Murch is expected to be in a Penobscot County courtroom to face these charges Feb. 20.

Author: Samantha Sugerman, News Center Maine

Maine basketball team and Hollywood Casino spend Thanksgiving at homeless shelter

The University of Maine men’s basketball team and the staff of the Hollywood Casino prepared and served Thanksgiving dinner to members of the community at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.

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BANGOR (NEWS CENTER Maine) — The holidays are a time to spend with family, but also a time to give back to those less fortunate than you.

This is the fourth year the staff of the Hollywood Casino has prepared Thanksgiving dinner at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, and the third year one of the two University of Maine basketball teams has served the meals.

“The Hollywood Casino, really great neighbors to have.” Boyd Kronholm, executive director of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, said. “They not only support us on Thanksgiving but they have hired and given employment to some of our overnight guests.”

The shelter serves three meals on Thanksgiving and expects to serve about 100 hungry members of the community.

“43 of those people will probably be people who stay here but everyday at noon we open up our doors for a soup kitchen for anyone who’s hungry in the community. So those are people who may have been through our shelter at one point but are housed, but may not know where their next meal is coming from.” Kronholm said.

Junior guard on the Maine Black Bears, Isaiah White, says he’s not new to giving back to the community he lives in.

“When I’m back home, back in high school our church used to do things like this around the holidays too.” He said.

While this isn’t the community White grew up in, he says he enjoys giving back to a place that welcomed him with open arms.

“Maine, you know, the city of Bangor, Orono, the school, has fully embraced the basketball team.” He said.