February 14, 2013

Second suspect arrested in major Portland cocaine seizure

Police charge the live-in girlfriend of Adam White of Falmouth with felony possession of cocaine.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Agents with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency made another arrest Thursday in connection with one of the largest cocaine seizures in southern Maine in recent memory.

Police charged Vanbopha "Stephanie" Nhoth, 23, with felony possession of cocaine in connection with the seizure of more than eight pounds of the drug after a traffic stop on Stevens Avenue in Portland on Tuesday.

Nhoth is the live-in girlfriend of Adam White, who was arrested Tuesday on charges of trafficking in cocaine after police seized eight pounds of cocaine, worth more than $200,000, in his car and his house in a well-to-do neighborhood in Falmouth.

Nhoth was a passenger in the car but was not initially charged.

Portland police officer Mark Keller stopped White's 2013 Cadillac for speeding in a school zone, said Sgt. Kevin Cashman, supervisor for the MDEA in Cumberland County.

Keller became suspicious and summoned a police dog to check the car. The dog's response prompted police to search it.

They found 3 ounces of cocaine on White and another 11.5 ounces in the car's trunk, Cashman said. They also found a Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistol, he said.

Police then got a search warrant for White's house on Rockaway Drive in Falmouth. There, police say, they found another 120 ounces of cocaine and a .45-caliber Kimber handgun tucked between a box spring and a bed frame, within easy reach of someone in the bed.

Police say they also confiscated scales, distribution paraphernalia, three-quarters of a pound of marijuana, $13,750 in cash and a money counter.

"Not many people have a money counter, unless you have a volume of bills that need to be counted," Cashman said.

Investigators now are trying to determine the source of the four kilograms of pure, uncut cocaine and its destination. If sold on the street, the drug would be worth $179,000 to $374,000 and maybe more, depending on whether it was mixed with other substances, Cashman said.

Cocaine sells for about $1,300 an ounce and $100 a gram, he said.

"Clearly, this is a substantial amount and will have a huge impact on the source of supply in the Greater Portland area," Cashman said. "I can think of maybe two other cases in the last decade that would be comparable to this, as far as the volume of cocaine seized."

Police considered seeking the forfeiture of White's brand new Cadillac, but it turned out that he bought it recently and owed the dealership most of the value of the car. The car will be returned to the dealership, Cashman said.

Nhoth was released from the Cumberland County Jail on $1,000 bail. She was not arrested immediately Tuesday because police had to do more investigation before bringing charges against her, Cashman said.

 

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@pressherald.com

 

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