AUGUSTA — A Manhattan, New York, man extradited to Maine earlier this month to face 10 counts of aggravated drug trafficking lost a challenge to the arrest affidavit Tuesday, and his bail was reduced from $200,000 to $150,000 cash.

Eric “Korey” Colbert, 31, is charged with four counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs on June 29, 2016, in Augusta, two each involving heroin and cocaine base. Two of those charges cite a prior felony conviction in New York for criminal sale of narcotics and two say the sales took place within 1,000 feet of an area designated as a safe zone, which could be a school bus or near school property.

Two more counts each of aggravated trafficking in heroin and cocaine base are alleged July 19, 2016, also in Augusta, as well as one count each of aggravated trafficking in heroin and cocaine base alleged on Sept. 7, 2016, in Chelsea.

Colbert was arrested in New York and returned to Maine earlier this month. At his initial court appearance at the Capital Judicial Center via video from the jail, the prosecutor sought $75,000 bail, and the judge set it at $200,000.

Colbert was present Tuesday for the motion hearing at the Capital Judicial Center and heard his lawyer ask for more information about the confidential informant in the case.

The prosecution says Colbert took phone calls and facilitated the drug transactions that occurred in parking lots on Bangor Street and on Western Avenue in Augusta and on Hideaway Acres Drive in Chelsea.


The probable cause affidavit by Brian Wastella, an officer with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, says Colbert used Shawn Bunker to sell 0.44 grams of heroin and 0.68 grams of crack cocaine in the first buy and used a female identified as “MOE” to sell 0.57 grams of heroin and 0.78 grams of crack cocaine in the second instance and 0.98 grams of heroin and 1.76 grams of crack cocaine in the third transaction.

Conditions of the bail prohibit Colbert from contact with Shawn Bunker, 51, of Chelsea, and Tatyana Tomlinson, 21, of New York City, both of whom are also at the Kennebec County jail. Tomlinson is charged with aggravated assault.

Bunker faces aggravated drug trafficking charges from June and July 2016. Scott Hess, the attorney representing Colbert, pressed for information about the confidential informant, including the person’s criminal history and docket numbers of cases he was involved with as well as what consideration the person receives in exchange for being a confidential informant.

Hess’ written motion says discovery material he has received indicates the case is based on allegations that Colbert was the facilitator.

“Although there were a number of controlled buys that were conducted, there is absolutely no evidence, other than the word of the confidential (informant) that Mr. Colbert was in any way involved in these transactions,” he wrote.

Hess said Colbert was not present at any of the transactions and questioned how investigators would prove it was Colbert on the phone. At least one phone call was not recorded, he said.


The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley, told the judge, “There is sufficient information in the affidavit for the court to find probable cause” that a crime was committed.

After denying the defense motions Tuesday, Justice Michaela Murphy reset Colbert’s bail, citing his criminal record, which includes a conviction for criminal contempt and tampering with physical evidence as well as a lack of a permanent address in Maine.

Sibley said Colbert had 11 prior convictions in New York, nine of them involving drugs and two of those being felony trafficking offenses. She said Colbert had served two years in prison and two years of probation for the second conviction.

Hess argued that $200,000 was “grossly disproportionate and excessive.” He suggested $10,000 bail with conditions. Hess said the evidence outlined in the affidavit “is a very, very anemic amount of probable cause.”

Hess also said Colbert had completed parole successfully in New York, had been working on obtaining certification as a barber and has family in New York and Maine.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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