Thursday, December 5, 2013
By SUSAN McMILLAN Kennebec Journal
Five people were arrested and more than $23,000 worth of cocaine and heroin was seized Friday in Augusta and Belgrade after a months-long investigation into a regional drug trafficking operation.
Several agencies simultaneously executed search warrants at 388 Water St. and 18 Edison Drive, in Augusta, and 43 Hulin Road in Belgrade. They seized more than 550 retail bags of heroin, 6 grams of bulk heroin, 19 grams of cocaine and 18 grams of crack.
• James Davis, 19, of Harlem, N.Y., and Belgrade, charged with aggravated trafficking in heroin in a school zone and unlawful trafficking in heroin. His bail was set at $25,000.
• Terrell Washington, 23, of Bronx, N.Y., charged with two counts of unlawful trafficking in heroin. His bail was also set at $25,000.
• John Wood, 31, of Augusta, charged with unlawful possession of heroin and hindering apprehension as he tried to destroy evidence. His bail was set at $10,000.
• Beverly Norton, 56, of Augusta, charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking in heroin in a school zone. Her bail was set at $15,000.
• Amber Swift, 27, of Belgrade, charged with unlawful trafficking in heroin. Her bail was set at $2,500.
Augusta Deputy Police Chief Jared Mills said Davis, Washington, Wood and Norton were arrested at 388 Water St., Norton's residence. The Edison Drive location is a room at Motel 6.
Mills did not know where Swift was arrested. According to whitepages.com, an A. Swift lives at the Belgrade Lakes address, a quiet road off Main Street with a mix of seasonal and year-round homes.
Mills said the five include most of the central figures in the drug ring, but more arrests will be made soon.
"We've been building a case for months against them, and basically we felt that we were able to bring it all together on Friday, where we would get as many people involved as possible," Mills said.
The investigation began earlier this year after officers received information from an informant or someone who had been arrested, Mills said.
Augusta police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency led the investigation and were assisted on Friday by Waterville Police Department, Kennebec County Sheriff's Office, Maine State Police and the U.S. DEA.
Some of the people in the drug ring have shown a propensity for violence, Mills said, so tactical teams assisted in entering 388 Water St. and the residence in Belgrade.
They executed the warrants between 2:30 and 3 p.m.
Maine DEA Commander Darrell Crandall said the teams encountered no physical resistance, but said Wood attempted to dispose of drugs when officers entered.
Crandall would not identify the school or schools related to Davis' and Norton's charges for aggravated trafficking of heroin in a school zone.
Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Susan McMillan can be contacted at 621-5645 or at: