CANAAN — Somerset County Sheriff’s officers arrested a Hartland man and a Canaan woman in possession of loaded firearms in related cases and charged them with aggravated drug trafficking.

Police executed a drug search warrant on July 12 on a 2006 Mercedes Benz and Nicholas Culver, 38, on Route 2 in Canaan, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office. During the search, police found over 30 grams of fentanyl, an opioid often used in pain medications. Police also found a loaded pistol in Culver’s waistband and over $3,000 in cash.

Culver was arrested and charged with aggravated trafficking in a schedule W drug and possession of a schedule W drug. The drug trafficking charge is aggravated due to the presence of the firearm, as well as the amount of fentanyl seized.

On July 13, police seized seven additional handguns and $16,350 in cash from Culver’s home in Hartland.

Sheriff Dale Lancaster said the arrest was part of an ongoing investigation into Culver and others selling large amounts of fentanyl in Hartland and Somerset County.

Culver is being held at the Somerset County Jail on $100,000 bail. His initial arraignment date is Oct. 10 in Somerset County.

On July 17, police conducted a separate drug related search warrant at the home of Amanda Cowette, at Stoney Park in Canaan. During the search, police found 100 grams of fentanyl, nearly $7,500 in cash, Xanax pills, a 2006 BMW sport utility motor vehicle, a loaded 9mm pistol, 2 bullet-proof vests, drug related documentation, and other paraphernalia. The fentanyl has a street value of $15,000.

Cowette, 24, was arrested and charged with aggravated trafficking in a schedule W drug, possession of a schedule W drug and possession of a schedule W drug. The drug trafficking charge is aggravated, due to the presence of the firearm, as well as the amount of fentanyl seized.

Cowette is at the Somerset County Jail and is being held on $10,000 bail. She is also set to appear in court on Oct. 10.

More charges are expected to come as it is alleged Culver and Cowette were involved in fentanyl trafficking activities.

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