AUGUSTA — An out-of-state man arrested on a misdemeanor theft charge Saturday in Winthrop after a truck he was riding in was stopped on U.S. Route 202 now faces two drug trafficking charges.

George S. Hinton Jr., 26, also known as “Detroit,” who has addresses in both Detroit, Michigan, and Brooklyn, New York, is accused of unlawful trafficking in heroin on Nov. 8, 2016, and Nov. 10, 2016, both in Augusta.

Those charges, which can carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison each if he is convicted, were filed Wednesday after officers with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency learned of his Saturday arrest. Bail on the theft by receiving stolen property charge was set Monday at $1,200.

Hinton had an initial hearing on the unlawful trafficking charges Wednesday afternoon via video from the Kennebec County jail.

Judge Paul Mathews agreed to the state’s request for $50,000 bail with conditions that Hinton not leave Maine except for court proceedings.

Assistant District Attorney Carrie James said Hinton had been arrested in New York on March 11, 2017, on charges of criminal possession of controlled substance with intent to sell, a felony, and has court dates in that case.

Defense attorney Lisa Whittier, serving as lawyer of the day, said she had a problem with police stopping the truck Saturday in which Hinton was a passenger.

“There’s a problem in terms of stopping the U-Haul with no warrant,” Whittier said.

James countered that the state believes probable cause existed.

The truck was stopped at 11:30 p.m. Saturday by Winthrop police Officer Ken Tabor, who indicated in a probable cause affidavit that the truck had a defective registration plate light.

Jessica L. Nelson, 41, of Augusta, was driving with passengers Hinton and Brock Hamilton. Tabor wrote that he found Suboxone strips in a pocketbook and two small bags of what field-tested as heroin, as well as $2,700 cash.

Hamilton, 30, of Farmingdale, was charged with violating a condition of release.

Nelson pleaded guilty at her initial hearing Monday to one count of unlawful possession of drugs and was fined. A second count was dismissed in exchange for the plea.

Mathews said that concerns about the probable cause for the traffic stop could be addressed at a later date.

He appointed attorney Matthew Morgan to represent Hinton in the trafficking and theft cases.

In the trafficking case, a confidential informant working with investigators bought 0.6 grams of heroin from Hinton on both dates after arranging to meet near the Game Stop/LongHorn Steakhouse in Augusta, according to an affidavit by Detective Michael Bickford, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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