WATERVILLE — Waterville police were able to take a “significant” amount of drugs off the streets on Thursday in two source-level busts, according to Chief Joseph Massey.

“What we call source-level people are the dealers, and the people we really need to focus on,” he said. “I really think this is going to disrupt the ability of some users to get drugs, and I’m sure it will make things difficult as they look for other dealers.”

Between the two incidents, the drugs seized were estimated to have a street value of $55,000, Massey said.

The first arrests were made at approximately 7 a.m. on Thursday at 3 Cool St. Jesse Donovan, 45, who is listed as the owner of the Cool Street residence, was seen leaving the property in a vehicle when officers arrived to search the property. He was stopped up the road and arrested after officers found 4.6 grams of crack cocaine on him. When police entered his home, they found two adult women, Devon Ayotte and Stephanie Pelletier, in an upstairs bedroom and arrested them as well. Officers seized 13.3 grams of fentanyl, 7.2 grams of powdered cocaine and 13.5 grams of crack cocaine. Combined with the crack on Donovan’s body, the estimated street value of the drugs seized on Cool Street was $5,000 according to Massey. Officers also found $4,800 in cash at the property.

Donovan was charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking of a schedule W drug, which is a Class A felony. He was also charged with unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs and criminal conspiracy, both Class B crimes. Ayotte, 28, and Pelletier, 26, were each charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking of a schedule W drug, one count of aggravated furnishing of scheduled drugs, a Class B crime, and criminal conspiracy. The two women listed the 3 Cool St. address as their residence. All three individuals are being held at the Kennebec County jail with cash bail set at $37,000 each and court appearances scheduled for May 13 at the Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta.

Class A felonies are punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Class B felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Shortly after the arrests at Cool Street, at approximately 3:45 p.m., Massey said a second set of arrests were made after the Waterville police drug unit obtained “probable cause to believe there were illegal drug dealings going on” at a 17 Francis St. residence.

The homeowner, Eric Spaulding, 43, was arrested downstairs and two adult males in their 20s were later found in an upstairs bedroom and arrested as well. Upon searching the premises, officers found 114.6 grams of fentanyl, 268.3 grams of powdered cocaine and 99.8 grams of crack cocaine, with a combined street value of roughly $50,000.

“It is major,” Massey said. “The drugs that we seized there weighed 1.1 pounds (altogether), for perspective. That’s significant.”

Spaulding was charged with three counts of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, Class A felonies, criminal conspiracy, a Class B felony, and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, a Class D misdemeanor. The two other men, Shahied Golden, 24, of Bronx, New York, and Darrell Lawrence, 29, of Easton, Pennsylvania, were charged with the same felonies and misdemeanor as Spaulding. They are being held at Kennebec County jail with court dates of May 13 for all three individuals. Spaulding’s bail is set at $37,000, while Golden’s and Lawrence’s bails are set at $100,000 each.

Class D misdemeanors can result in a county jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,000.

“The drug unit did a remarkable job,” said Massey. “This is a significant amount of drugs, but I have no illusions. It might take a few days for those addicted to find a new source. It would be a good time for them to consider coming down to the police department and accessing the Operation HOPE program rather than trying to find some street drugs.”

Operation HOPE is a Waterville Police Department program that helps put people addicted to opioids in treatment. Individuals can inquire about the program and recovery options at the police station on Colby Street.

Massey said that he is not sure at this point whether the two busts on Thursday are related.

“We are looking into the possibility that there’s a connection,” he said.

He added that when people from out-of-state are involved with an operation, it is more difficult for officers to get enough information for a search warrant.

“With people coming in from out of state — that is very difficult for us to try and prevent that from happening,” he said. “Once they get here, 90 percent of them are not from the area, and it’s hard to get information and run background checks on them. That makes the investigation much more difficult than when you’re dealing with people who have been in the area for a long time, and that information is more readily available from (local) police departments.”

Thursday’s arrests come on the heels of another set of drug busts last week that resulted in four arrests and the seizure of 34.5 grams of fentanyl and 53.1 grams of crack.

 

Meg Robbins — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @megrobbins

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