SKOWHEGAN — At least four people are in jail awaiting court appearances on multiple drug charges following an investigation by police that led to the seizure Friday of a significant amount of illicit drugs, according to police Chief David Bucknam.

The investigation began around 10 p.m. Thursday when Skowhegan police, Somerset County Sheriff’s Office officials and state police responded to North Avenue for a report of people standing next to a vehicle and wearing ski masks near a duplex at the intersection of East Street, Bucknam said. Skowhegan police Officer Jacob Pierce tried to contact them but they fled on foot and police recovered two handguns next to the vehicle, Bucknam said.

The investigation continued into the night Thursday and at about 10:30 a.m. Friday, Skowhegan police officers and Somerset sheriff’s officials saw a 2009 Mazda 3 with three males and two females leave the North Avenue duplex, according to Bucknam.

A Skowhegan police officer stopped a vehicle on the Middle Road, just south of Redington-Fairview General Hospital, and Skowhegan officers and a sheriff’s deputy converged on the vehicle. Five people were arrested on charges including trafficking in scheduled drugs, a Class A crime, and unlawful trafficking in a scheduled drug, Class B, Bucknam said.

Arrested were Katia Graves, 33, of Pittsfield; Kenneth McCoullum, 31, of Westbrook; Jamarie David, 23, of Springfield, Massachusetts; Jessica Tower, 32, of Madison; and Malachi White, 20, of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

As part of the investigation, $4,002 in cash, 17.5 grams of heroin, 50.9 grams of cocaine base, 15.2 grams of cocaine hydrochloride, and 34.4 grams of fentanyl were seized from the vehicle, totaling a street value of about $9,000, according to Bucknam. Clinton police and the U.S. Border Patrol assisted with K-9 units which helped police locate the illegal substances, he said. Cocaine hydrochloride is a nasal solution used to numb the mucous membrane inside the nose before surgery or other medical procedures.


A spokeswoman at Somerset County Jail in East Madison said Saturday morning that Tower was not listed as being held at the jail, but the other four were there awaiting court arraignments. She said arraignments are held Monday, Wednesday and Thursday via video from the jail. She said the bail for all four is $75,000 cash for each.

Bucknam said in a statement Saturday that he is grateful to see the drugs off the streets and those responsible in jail.

“This investigation had a lot of moving parts and all agencies worked as a team to make sure the residents of Skowhegan were safe at all times which was our priority,” he said.

Bucknam said Saturday morning in a phone interview that people are safer with the drugs having been seized and those who possessed them in jail.

“It’ll definitely remove the ability for them to be sold over the weekend, during the new year,” he said.

He said the investigation is ongoing and if police find additional suspects or resources, they will be seized and the people taken into custody as well.


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