AUGUSTA — Two central Maine residents were arrested on charges of trafficking drugs in the Waterville-Winslow area spent the weekend at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of posting bail.

The two, Kijuame S. Taft, 38, and Kristy Mcneil, 34, were in front of a judge at the Capital Judicial Center Friday via video from the Kennebec County jail.

Judge Eric Walker set Taft’s bail at $15,000 cash and Mcneil’s at $7,500 cash.

Taft is accused of aggravated trafficking in more than 6 grams of heroin and in cocaine base. The state also is seeking criminal forfeiture of $3,953 cash seized when Taft and Mcneil were arrested Thursday.

Mcneil is charged with aggravated trafficking and two counts of unlawful trafficking in drugs.

Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley said a controlled drug buy was observed by law enforcement officers and the buy money was found in Taft’s pocket. The two were arrested shortly afterward.

Taft, who lives in Maine, has a record of criminal convictions in other states, Sibley told Walker in asking him to set bail for Taft at $15,000 cash. Records with the state of Connecticut Judicial Branch show Taft was convicted in 2010 of “interfering wth an emergency call,” and a report published in the Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) show a jury in March 2014 cleared Taft of a number of charges, including armed robbery.

Stephen Bourget, representing Taft as lawyer of the day, said he would reserve argument over bail once Taft gets a permanent attorney in the case.

Sibley asked for $10,000 in bail for Mcneil with conditions prohibiting her from leaving the state and from having contact with Taft.

Sibley told Walker that Mcneil cooperated with law enforcement and told police she had been selling drugs for Taft.

Sibley said the aggravated trafficking charge involves double the amount of drugs needed for a four-year minimum mandatory sentence.

Attorney Elizabeth Gray, representing Mcneil as attorney of the day, asked for lower bail. “Ms. Mcneil was really at the bottom of the food chain as far as this organization is concerned,” Gray said.

She also told the judge, “This is clearly an activity that stems from a drug problem.”

Gray pointed to Mcneil’s minimal criminal history and noted she has lived in Maine for 20 years, and her family and children live here.

Walker responded, “Her history is not nearly as serious as these charges.”

Gray asked that Mcneil be allowed a bed-to-bed transfer to an inpatient drug treatment facility since Mcneil had said she was on a waiting list for two facilities.

However, the judge agreed with Sibley that the request should wait until it can be made by the attorney assigned to represent Mcneil.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

 

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