AUGUSTA — A judge on Friday lowered bail for one Waterbury, Connecticut, man facing aggravated drug trafficking charges and ordered a second man released after finding there was no probable cause to arrest him.

Luis Baez, 22, also known as Miller, is charged with four counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, three involving heroin and one involving crack cocaine, between July 16-Aug. 24, 2017, and all in Oakland.

At his initial appearance at the Capital Judicial Center via video from the Kennebec County jail, he was told convictions on the charges each carry minimum sentences of four years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.

Bail at his arrest was initially set at $850,000, a particularly high amount. Bail of $500,000 or more is usually seen in cases where defendants are accused of shooting or seriously injuring other people.

In court, Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley requested bail be set at $50,000 cash, with conditions requiring Baez to stay in Maine and abide by an 8 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew and to stay away from specific addresses in Oakland and Corinna, among other things.

Attorney Brad Grant, who represented Baez as lawyer of the day, suggested $10,000 worth of property or $1,000 cash for bail, saying the substance alleged to be crack cocaine did not weigh 4 or more grams.

“I think the state’s not even going to be able to get trafficking in this case let alone aggravated trafficking,” Grant argued.

Sibley said the cocaine base was packed in retail doses.

Judge Eric Walker agreed to set bail as the state requested, citing Baez’s lack of connection to Maine.

Walker also found that affidavits by Maine Drug Enforcement Agency officers contained enough probable cause to support the arrest of Baez.

Baez and Wilson Correa, 26, also known as Chooch, were arrested around noon on Thursday on Fairfield Street in Oakland following a traffic stop by police. Correa, too, was charged with the same four counts of aggravated trafficking.

At Friday’s hearing, attorney William Baghdoyan, representing Correa as lawyer of the day, challenged the basis for Correa’s arrest.

He told the judge that the affidavit said Correa “was in possession of nothing. There’s no evidence he participated in drug possession or drug buys that these cooperating individuals did.” Baghdoyan said the vehicle they were riding in belonged to one of two individuals cooperating with police, not to the passengers.

An affidavit by Maine Drug Enforcement Agent Lowell Woodman, says the two men were picked up by the cooperating individuals on Mud Run in Canaan, and that police followed the vehicle to Oakland where it was stopped.

They reported finding a bag in the back or trunk compartment containing a loaded Beretta semi-automatic, heroin and crack cocaine. Both the cooperating individuals said the bag belonged to Baez. The affidavit says Correa was convicted June 6, 2016, in Waterbury (Connecticut) Superior Court of possession with intent to sell, a felony drug conviction.

Sibley argued that Correa would have known what was going on and that he was in the back seat of a car with Baez and the package of drugs was on the seat between the two men.

But Walker disagreed, saying, “There is no evidence at all that Mr. Correa knew what was in this bag other than just being there.”

Walker ordered Baez released, but told him that the charges remain and that he was set for a court hearing 2 p.m. Nov. 7.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: