Police have charged three people with trafficking crack cocaine after a weeks-long investigation and a Friday morning foot chase through the streets of Winslow.
Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey said the charges cap off an investigation conducted in partnership with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, during which undercover officers, he said, made controlled drug buys from two of the suspects.
Tamera Harmon, 24, of College Avenue, and Maria Weston 46, of Fitchburg, Mass., were arrested Thursday night on Kennedy Memorial Drive after police got a tip they would be entering the city with drugs, Massey said.
Ornel Bodden, 30, of Troy, N.Y., was arrested Friday morning in Winslow after investigators were told he was staying in a house on Poulin Street.
A team of agents, including the Winslow police, were setting up a perimeter ring around the home when Bodden ran from the area.
Massey said Bodden initially evaded police, but a resident who owned a scanner was listening to police descriptions of him and saw him walking past her home.
“She said, ‘I think he’s down on the riverbank near the Two Cent Bridge,’ ” Massey said.
Officers arrested Bodden soon thereafter, and charged him with two counts of aggravated trafficking, Class A felonies, based on what Massey said were his previous interactions with undercover agents.
Harmon was stopped by police while driving a Chrysler sedan on Kennedy Memorial Drive in Waterville at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, just after she’d exited Interstate 95.
Massey said police stopped the car because they got a tip that Harmon and Weston, her passenger, would enter the city with drugs.
“We felt the information was very credible,” Massey said.
Massey said officers asked the women to get out of the car and then questioned them.
Weston, he said, “eventually admitted that she had crack cocaine in her bra. She then turned that over to the investigators.”
Massey said she had 7 to 8 grams of the drug, valued at about $1,500.
A search of the women and the car yielded no other drugs, but Massey said Harmon was also arrested because she had twice previously sold drugs to undercover officers.
Weston was charged with unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, a Class B crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Harmon was charged with the same crime, and also two counts of aggravated trafficking, a Class A crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Massey said the charges were more severe because the undercover purchases had taken place in a designated safe zone, such as a park or school district reserved for children and families.
Harmon’s bail was set at $20,000 cash, while Weston’s was $5,000. Neither made bail and both were sent to Kennebec County Jail, where they remained Friday afternoon. Bodden’s cash bail was set for $40,000.
All three are scheduled to appear before a judge in Kennebec County Superior Court on Aug. 26.
Matt Hongoltz-Hetling can be contacted at 861-9287 or at firstname.lastname@example.org