Drug agents bust massive Aroostook County trafficking ring, police say
Drug agents have charged nine people accused of operating a massive drug trafficking ring out of Aroostook County, authorities said.
The arrests, which took place over the course of last week, are the result of an ongoing investigation that began in late 2017, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said.
Drug agents are still searching for three more suspects who police say belong to the drug ring and have eluded investigators. Amber Shaw, 30, and Josh Easler, 29 — both of Presque Isle — and Fernando Vazquez, 41, of Springfield, are still wanted and at large, McCausland said.
Maine Drug Enforcement agents spread out across The County last week to round up the members of the alleged criminal organization, McCausland said. Two of the nine fled police to Kennebec County, and were arrested there, he said. As a group, they are accused of trafficking felony amounts of fentanyl, heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine. Each faces a single count for dealing a specific kind of drug, according to the charges.
All but two of the people arrested last week have posted bail, McCausland said. Kurt Doody, 22, of Caribou, and Nicholas Hall, 33, of Presque Isle are still in jail.
Lucas Wynn, 31, of Presque Isle; Autumn Parady, 20, of Gardiner; Scott Pelletier, 28, of Limestone; Tyler Cyr, 31, of Caribou; George Tamberello, 31, of Caribou; and Chris Tuttle, 30, of Presque Isle, are out on bail.
Each faces up to 10 years in state prison if convicted of the class B felony offense.
Six local, county and state law enforcement agencies assisted MDEA in making the scattered arrests.
While the majority of individuals charged are from Caribou and Presque Isle, Pelletier of Limestone was charged with trafficking in heroin, according to Limestone Police Chief Stacey Mahan. Mahan said Tuesday that he and his officers have been assisting the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency with information for “quite a while now,” adding that “99 percent of the time, our drug intel gets forwarded to MDEA if we believe it’s going to cross town lines.”
The chief added that the drug problem in Aroostook County has “certainly gotten worse” and that he personally believes the MDEA needs more support.
“I think they need more funding and manpower,” Mahan said. “They’re covering the entire state, and this area definitely needs more Maine drug enforcement people to continue working with local departments to put a dent into the problems we have.”
Anyone with information regarding the location of Easler, Shaw, or Vazquez can call Aroostook County Crimestoppers at 800-638-8477 or text 207-538-8477.