Five people were arrested and more than $23,000 worth of cocaine and heroin were seized on Friday in Augusta and Belgrade after a months-long investigation into a regional drug trafficking operation.
Several agencies simultaneously executed search warrants at 388 Water St. and 18 Edison Drive, in Augusta, and 43 Hulin Road in Belgrade. They seized more than 550 retail bags of heroin, 6 grams of bulk heroin, 19 grams of cocaine and 18 grams of crack.
* James Davis, 19, of Harlem, N.Y., and Belgrade, charged with class A aggravated trafficking in heroin in a school zone and class B unlawful trafficking in heroin. His bail was set at $25,000.
* Terrell Washington, 23, of Bronx, N.Y., charged with two counts of unlawful trafficking in heroin. His bail was also set at $25,000.
* John Wood, 31, of Augusta, charged with class C unlawful possession of heroin and hindering apprehension as he tried to destroy evidence. His bail was set at $10,000.
* Beverly Norton, 56, of Augusta, charged with two counts of class A aggravated trafficking in heroin in a school zone. Her bail was set at $15,000.
* Amber Swift, 27, of Belgrade, charged with class B unlawful trafficking in heroin. Her bail was set at $2,500.
Augusta Deputy Police Chief Jared Mills said Davis, Washington, Wood and Norton were arrested at 388 Water St., which is Norton’s residence. The address is at the top of the Water Street hill, near the Hartford fire station. The Edison Drive location is a room at Motel 6.
He did not know where Swift was arrested. A listing on whitepages.com says an A. Swift lives at the Belgrade Lakes address, a quiet road off Main Street along Mill Stream with a mix of seasonal and year-round homes.
Mills said the five include most of the central figures in the drug ring, but more arrests will be made soon.
“We’ve been building a case for months against them, and basically we felt that we were able to bring it all together on Friday, where we would get as many people involved as possible,” Mills said. “There’s stil some follow-up to do, and we anticipate there will be other arrests as well.”
The investigation began earlier this year after officers received information from an informant or someone who had been arrested, Mills said.
Augusta police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency led the investigation and were assisted on Friday by Waterville Police Department, Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police and the U.S. DEA.
Some of the people in the drug ring have shown a propensity for violence, Mills said, so tactical teams assisted in entering 388 Water St. and the residence in Belgrade.
They executed the warrants between 2:30 and 3 p.m.
Maine DEA Commander Darrell Crandall said the teams encountered no physical resistance, but Wood attempted to dispose of drugs when officers entered, which is why he has been charged with hindering prosecution.
Crandall would not identify the school or schools related to Davis’ and Norton’s charges for aggravated trafficking of heroin in a school zone.
Mills said that while Davis and Washington came to Maine from New York, the other suspects are from Maine. He did not have any information about previous arrests for any of the five.
Susan McMillan — 621-5645