Sunday, April 20, 2014
By Amy Calder firstname.lastname@example.org
WATERVILLE -- Three people made initial court appearances Wednesday after police on Tuesday raided a Ticonic Street apartment and seized drugs with a street value of about $40,000.
One of the three arrested, Mark A. Hilliard, of New York, is suspected of bringing the six ounces of crack cocaine, 46 bags of heroin, three grams of powdered cocaine, 493 30-milligram oxycodone pills and a small amount of marijuana here from New York, according to police Chief Joseph Massey.
"What's unusual is the different drugs that we recovered," Massey said Wednesday. "Generally, we don't recover so many different drugs in one drug bust. We certainly have had some significantly larger seizures than this in terms of quantity."
Hilliard, 31, of 1047 Avenue of St. Johns, Apt. 5E, Bronx, N.Y., was charged with three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, all class A felonies; aggravated forgery, a class B felony; and unlawful possession of drugs, a class B misdemeanor, according to Massey.
Linda M. Batissa, 27, of 6 Ticonic St., Apt. 2, was charged with three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, all class E felonies; unlawful possession of drugs, a class D misdemeanor; sale and use of drug paraphernalia, a civil violation; and possession of marijuana, also a civil violation, Massey said.
Jesse E. Broz, 37, of 11 Hillside Ave., Apt. 3, was charged with two counts of unlawful possession of drugs, both class D misdemeanors, and one count of unlawful possession of drugs, a class E misdemeanor.
The bust, which netted drugs worth about $40,000 on the street, Massey said, highlights just how pervasive drugs are in the city and that there's always a market for them. He said when dealers come into the city from out of state or other Maine communities, police do everything they can to identify them.
"We like to welcome them with open handcuffs and we are going to be very aggressive. Getting this quantity of drugs off the street, I think, is terrific," he said.
Massey said police detectives went to Batissa's Ticonic Street apartment with a search warrant around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
In addition to the drugs, police recovered about $3,000 in cash, he said.
While they were searching the apartment, they saw a red pickup truck go by several times and stop down the street. The truck occupants were watching the police, Massey said.
"The officers were familiar with at least one person in the truck and felt strongly that they were either there to buy drugs from this lady or possibly bring some drugs," he said.
Broz was driving the truck and Hilliard was a passenger, he said. Police found one gram of crack cocaine, as well as suboxone and xanax, on Broz, Massey said. Suboxone is a drug used to treat opiate addiction; Xanax is used to treat anxiety.
Massey said Hilliard had $160 in counterfeit $20 bills on him.
Hilliard was not able to post $150,000 bail and was taken to Kennebec County jail in Augusta. He made an initial court appearance Wednesday. His bail was lowered to $40,000 and he is scheduled to appear Aug. 13 in Kennebec County Superior Court.
Broz did not make his $1,500 cash bail and also was taken to the jail. He was granted unsecured bail Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in Waterville District Court on Aug. 20. Batissa did not make $50,000 cash bail and was taken to the jail. She made an initial court appearance Wednesday where her bail was reduced to $25,000. She is to appear in Kennebec County Superior Court on Aug. 13.
Amy Calder -- 861-9247
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