Money seizures evidence of growing illegal drug flow into Aroostook County, police say

Sadye Matula

Central and southern Aroostook County law enforcement have recovered greater quantities of funds in the course of drug-associated arrests this calendar year showing that a sizable move of illegal medication is nonetheless generating its way into The County. Presque Isle and Houlton law enforcement are reporting substantially more substantial sums of […]

Central and southern Aroostook County law enforcement have recovered greater quantities of funds in the course of drug-associated arrests this calendar year showing that a sizable move of illegal medication is nonetheless generating its way into The County.

Presque Isle and Houlton law enforcement are reporting substantially more substantial sums of cash learned in the latest drug busts, main to larger figures of money forfeitures. The increased amounts of hard cash the alleged sellers have on hand sign that the drugs have presently been bought prior to the arrests.

In Presque Isle, police obtained much more than $13,000 in cash forfeitures this yr, in comparison with just $1,800 in 2020, according to Presque Isle Law enforcement Main Laurie Kelly.

“The scenarios have been on a continual rise for various a long time now,” Kelly claimed. “We’ve had conditions with upwards to $70,000 in addition in hard cash, automobiles, instruments, etcetera., that we may possibly receive a portion of, but those situations have not been adjudicated but.”

In Houlton, $40,000-additionally in money has been forfeited to the local police section this year, a lot more than two times the total forfeited in 2020.

Houlton Police Main Tim DeLuca reported that whilst the range of drug-associated arrests has remained regular this yr, police had been acquiring additional income in the course of arrests, this kind of as a latest methamphetamine bust in August in which the human being arrested had $18,000 in cash on hand.

“We’ve been having the very same amount of arrests, but we’ve been lucky enough to do drug interdictions at the appropriate point,” he said. “We would favor to have a more substantial drug seizure than cash, since it indicates people prescription drugs are out on the streets. But if we seize the income, which is a good alternate.”

The information of bigger income forfeitures will come as two more Presque Isle guys have been sentenced as element of a broader conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine across northern and central Maine in 2019.

Reece Humphrey, 28, and Justin Michaud, 35, equally of Presque Isle, have been sentenced to 10 and 15 decades in jail, respectively, for their roles in a prepared drug procedure that saw massive portions of methamphetamine imported to Maine by way of the southwestern United States.

Their sentencing follows that of Joel Strother, 44, and Tyler Neece, 29, who both equally been given lengthy prison sentences for their roles in the conspiracy as very well. Investigation of the conspiracy was done by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and the Maine Drug Enforcement Company with help from condition and neighborhood legislation enforcement.

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