An Avon man will be sentenced in January for selling drugs in one of Franklin County’s largest drug busts and will forfeit $144,008 seized by police.

Daryl Searles, 57, pleaded guilty to class A, class B and class C drug trafficking as part of a plea deal in Franklin County court on Friday, according to court documents.

Searles, represented by attorney Walter Hanstein, originally was facing two class A drug charges and one class B drug charge.

Searles was arrested at his home in April by Franklin County Sheriff’s Department detectives as part of a joint investigation with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Maine State Police.

After months of investigation prompted by a tip, law enforcement officers seized 442 pills containing 9,277 milligrams of narcotics, a pound and a half of marijuana, firearms and $144,008.

When Searles is sentenced on the drug charges in January, he also is expected to forfeit the cash as part of an Alford plea wherein he claims the cash is not drug money. In an Alford Plea, the defendant accepts the consequences of a guilty verdict without admitting guilt.

Lt. David St. Laurent, of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, said the forfeited money will be divided among the sheriff’s department, the MDEA and the state police for their collaboration in the investigation.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols said at the time that the narcotic drugs were worth up to $18,555 in the Avon area.

The class A charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison; the class B charge, up to 10 years in prison; and the class C felony, five years in prison.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]


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