WATERVILLE — Three men, including one who was wanted in connection with a drug-trafficking investigation, were arrested Wednesday morning after a report of shoplifting from Wal-Mart in Waterville Commons.

Among the three was Justin Thomas, 28, of College Avenue, for whom police had been searching in connection with a months-long investigation, Deputy Chief Bill Bonney said Wednesday. Police had arrested Ryan Farnham and Brooke Whitney on July 5 in relation to the case.

Thomas was charged with theft along with Ryan Gagne, 28, of College Avenue, after the pair reportedly were seen leaving Wal-Mart with goods that were alleged to be stolen — some $87.64 worth of items that included tools, gloves, ratchets and a seat cover, Bonney said.

The two men reportedly ran out of the store into a sedan, where Dennis Shannon, 31, of Clinton, was waiting. Shannon told police he didn’t know of any intent on Gagne and Thomas’ part to shoplift while in Wal-Mart. Police received the shoplifting report at 6:24 a.m.

The car was stopped on Central Avenue by Officer Timothy Hinton. Fairfield police also went to the scene because Hinton initially thought the three would try to flee, but they did not. The stolen items were in plain view in the car, Bonney said.

Thomas’s license was suspended and revoked and he was charged with being a habitual offender, a class C felony. He was also charged with theft, a class C felony, because he has prior theft charges.


In addition, Thomas was charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking in heroin and acetylfentanyl (a potent designer drug), a class A felony, and one count of criminal conspiracy, a class B felony, for allegedly working with Farnham and Whitney to traffic drugs.

Gagne was charged with theft, a class E misdemeanor, because he does not have prior theft charges. He also was arrested on a warrant and a probation hold.

Shannon was arrested on a probation hold because he had not been in touch with his probation officer to update his address. Shannon said he did not take part in the theft, Bonney said.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239


Twitter: @madelinestamour

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