Two people from central Maine and three from New York were arrested Tuesday in connection with an alleged drug ring in Somerset County, police said.

More than 18 ounces of crack cocaine and more than 2 ounces of the pain reliever Fentanyl — drugs police said have a combined street value of $72,000 — and a loaded handgun were seized Tuesday during a police raid of a Fairfield home, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said in a news release Wednesday.

Those arrested include three people from Rochester, New York, all on class A charges of aggravated trafficking in schedule W drugs: Markwan Granville, 19, Jamie Martinez Betances, 29, and a 17-year-old male whose name authorities did not release. Also arrested were Rhonda Goldsmith, 43, of Vassalboro, on a class A charge of aggravated trafficking in schedule W drugs; and Jeffrey Charette, 47, of Winslow, on a class D charge of unlawful furnishing of schedule W drugs.

All five were taken to the Somerset County Jail in East Madison. Bail was set at $50,000 for Granville, Betances and the teenager; $25,000 for Goldsmith; and $2,500 for Charette.

Drug agents said the arrests were part of a two-month investigation, prompted by community complaints, into the distribution of crack cocaine and Fentanyl throughout the Somerset County area. The investigation involved the Maine DEA’s South Central District Task Force, the Somerset and Kennebec county sheriff’s offices, the Fairfield and Gardiner police departments and Maine State Police.

Authorities said they discovered a group from Rochester, New York, was coming regularly to central Maine “with large amounts of illegal drugs that were sold to local users,” according to the news release.


On Tuesday, Gardiner police learned that the group was suspected of storing drugs at 376 Center Road in Fairfield. Drug agents and investigators set up surveillance of the Center Road home and got a search warrant.

During surveillance of the home, Goldsmith, Granville and the teenager were seen leaving and were stopped later in Augusta. Charette and Betances also were stopped by police in Charrette’s vehicle as they left the Fairfield home, police said. Authorities said they seized the drugs and the loaded gun from the home during the search.

Police said they’re still investigating and expect to make more arrests.

“Agents are also investigating what connection the residence owners, who were not present at the time, and the numerous people who stay at the residence, have to the investigation,” the release said.

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