AUGUSTA — A New Hampshire man was arrested after police found multiple bags of illegal drugs in a stolen U-Haul van he was driving.

Augusta Officer Joanna Murch was on patrol when, just before 3 a.m. Thursday, she came across a U-Haul Ford Transit van parked at Rusty Lantern convenience store on Denali Way. The Augusta U-Haul had reported the vehicle as stolen from its Western Avenue lot earlier in the day. While Murch waited for other officers to respond, a man and woman exited the van, she wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

The man, later determined to be Adrien Sanders, 37, of Rochester, New Hampshire, exited from the driver’s seat.

Murch wrote that when she told them the U-Haul had been reported stolen, Sanders appeared shocked. He told her he and another man had been given the van by U-Haul employees after they’d returned another van for service. However he could not provide evidence the vehicle had been rented, so he was charged with theft by unauthorized use of property.

The woman with Sanders told police they had been driving around since earlier in the morning, when he picked her up from York Police Department. She said she believed he had a large amount of heroin in the van.

Police searched the van and found three bags of a white powdery substance. Two of the bags tested as baking soda, which Murch said in the affidavit is a cutting agent used to dilute narcotics. The largest of the three bags contained 109 grams of a white and tan powdery substance which, when first tested, could not be identified. When tested later with a different device, it came back as fentanyl.

Police also found a bag containing 2.92 grams of methamphetamine and a bag containing 48 Adderall pills, a prescription drug used to treat ADHD.

Sanders was arrested and taken to Kennebec County jail.

He was charged with aggravated trafficking in Schedule W drugs (fentanyl), unlawful possession of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of Schedule W drugs (Adderall), possessing imitation drugs, violating conditions of release, theft by unauthorized use of property and operating while license suspended or revoked.

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