Three people were arrested and charged Tuesday with aggravated drug trafficking in Washington County following a investigation that led to the seizure of approximately 135 grams of heroin worth roughly $54,000.

Stephen McCausaland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in a press release that the six-month investigation was a joint effort between the local sheriff’s office and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The investigation culminated Tuesday with the search of a house on Route 1 in the town of Perry, where officials seized heroin and and other evidence of trafficking.

Arrested were: Tara J. Townsend, 35, and James Ritchie, 59, both of Perry, and Felix Gracia, 37, of Waterbury, Connecticut. All three were charged with aggravated drug trafficking, a class A felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

They are each being held on $100,000 cash bail at Washington County Jail.

During the search of the house, occupied by Townsend and Ritchie, agents found three young children at the house, ages 11, 6 and 2. They were taken into state custody, McCausland said.

More arrests are likely as part of the investigation.


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