Three people arrested for alleged cocaine smuggling
SHERMAN, Maine — Maine drug enforcement agents arrested three individuals from Waterbury, Connecticut, Wednesday for allegedly attempting to smuggle crack cocaine into Aroostook County.
Emilio Gonell-Poventud, 32, Katherine Boisvert 39, and Michelleliz Pena,19 were allegedly attempting to smuggle a large amount of the drug into The County for resale, according to Peter Arno, commander of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Agents with the MDEA worked jointly with members of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office over the past several weeks investigating an alleged trafficking organization out of Waterbury that reportedly was trying to establish a crack cocaine and heroin distribution presence in Aroostook,
Arno said Thursday that he could not name the drug trafficking organization, but said that the group has, for the past several weeks, been trying to establish a presence and are “driven purely purely by profit margins from selling drugs in Aroostook County versus Waterbury.”
Earlier this week, agents learned that members of the group would be traveling to southern Aroostook with a large quantity of drugs for redistribution.
Police identified the suspect car as it traveled north on Interstate 95 in Penobscot County and deputies and Maine State Police troopers pulled the car over as it exited the interstate in Sherman, according to the release.
The officers reported that one of the women in the car apparently had concealed drugs in a body cavity and that she was taken to a local emergency room where approximately 70 grams of crack cocaine were removed by hospital staff, according to Arno.
The street value of the drugs seized exceeds $10,000, he indicated.
All were taken to the Aroostook County Jail where bail was set at $10,000 cash for each person.
“Once again, this case highlights the threat posed by out-of-state drug traffickers who are entering this state in an attempt to establish their illegal trade,” Arno said in the release. “The threat is not just confined to urban areas. These traffickers are motivated by the huge profits they are making off the backs of Maine citizens.
“Profits on a gram of crack cocaine are likely 5 to 6 times higher in Aroostook County compared to Waterbury,” Arno later said in a phone interview. “There is an increasing presence of crack cocaine and heroin in all areas of the state, including Aroostook County. The threat is not just posed by the drug. The traffickers, themselves, are often dangerous criminals with lengthy records and often affiliated with street gangs from out of state.”
Anyone with information about this case or the illegal sale of any drugs in Maine is urged to contact the nearest MDEA office or to call the MDEA tip-line at 800-452-6457.