WATERVILLE — A New York man was jailed Wednesday, according to police, after officers found more than 50 grams of drugs on him while arresting him on a warrant.
Kendu Watts, 19, of 1652 Park Ave. in New York, was arrested at 4:15 p.m. on First Rangeway during an orchestrated traffic stop, according to Chief Joseph Massey, of the Waterville Police Department.
A Maine State Police unit indicated there were drugs on Watts, and police searched him and found 43.5 grams of crack cocaine and 14.3 grams of heroin, Massey said.
“That was very significant,” Massey said, especially following two recent arrests that seized large amounts of drugs.
Watts was arrested on a charge of being a fugitive from justice as well as two counts of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, both class B felonies.
Police were looking for Watts after he allegedly gave the Winslow Police Department false names and Social Security numbers during a stop involving alleged traffic violations on Sunday. While reviewing police body cam footage, they saw that what Watts said didn’t match the name he gave, according to Winslow police Lt. Josh Veilleux. The department got a photo for the name from the New York precinct, and it matched a passenger in the car, not Watts. Police believe the two passengers at the time also gave false names.
Veilleux said they sent the man’s fingerprints to the FBI to find his true identity and discovered Watts was a fugitive from justice wanted in New York City for an alleged robbery, so they notified area departments.
Augusta police spotted Watts heading toward Waterville on Wednesday, so the department organized a stop, Massey said. Five other people were in the car, a tan 2002 Suzuki SUV, but none is facing charges at this time, he said.
Police still are looking into leads related to Watts’ arrest, however, Massey said.
Winslow police also summoned Watts on charges of failing to give a correct name or address, a class E misdemeanor; possession of a usable amount of marijuana because he is under 21, a civil violation; carrying liquor while a minor, a civil violation; driving without a driver’s license, a class E misdemeanor; and seven counts of aggravated forgery, class B felonies.
Watts is being held at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta. While he does not get bail for the warrant, the two charges from Waterville hold a $50,000 cash bail.
Massey said it’s frustrating to see this influx of “hard, narcotic drugs” into the area.
“You know, the opiate epidemic for us is very challenging,” he said. “Sometimes I feel like we’re not treading water anymore; we’re just sinking.”
The total amount of drugs seized for this arrest, along with arrests made on Feb. 10 and April 5, is 142.2 grams of crack, 72.3 grams of heroin and 116 grams of fentanyl. “That’s a significant amount of drugs in just those three arrests in a relatively short period of time,” Massey said.
Police also are starting to see what the drugs are doing to the people who use them in the city. At 2 a.m. Thursday, police found a man dead near his car on Kennedy Memorial Drive. He had overdosed on heroin that was laced with fentanyl, according to Massey.
“That deadly mixture, that fentanyl, is really what’s killing people,” he said.
Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239