Augusta police arrested three people on drug trafficking charges and charged three other people with separate offenses Thursday after searching the home at 3 Crosby Street Place and finding cash and $18,420 worth of crack cocaine, heroin and prescription painkillers, Lt. Christopher Massey said in a Friday news release.

Corey A. Vannah, 27, of Augusta, also known as “Coby,” had an initial court hearing Friday via video from the jail on four counts of aggravated trafficking in heroin and three counts of aggravated trafficking in crack cocaine, occurring Sept. 20 to Dec. 1 in Augusta.

 A bail commissioner set Vannah’s bail at $25,000 cash, and on Friday Judge Paul D. Mathews raised it to $50,000 cash at the state’s request, indicating it could be argued again when an attorney is appointed to represent Vannah.

Vannah was convicted in March 2015 of unlawful trafficking.

Christine L. Thayer, 28, of Augusta was charged with two counts of unlawful trafficking in heroin Sept. 20 and Nov. 16 and unlawful trafficking in cocaine base Nov. 16, all in Augusta. Mathews set bail at the $2,500 requested by the state, with conditions banning her from possession and use of illegal drugs.

When Mathews asked why the bail request was so different, Assistant District Attorney David Spencer said Thayer had no criminal history, in contrast to Vannah’s criminal record.

Attorney Stephen Bourget, acting as lawyer of the day for Thayer, said two of the charges indicate “that she was a mule for Corey Vannah to sell drugs.”


He said she was seeking $500 cash bail with a Maine Pretrial Services supervision contract.

Bourget said Thayer has lived in Maine almost all her life, is disabled, has three children and receives services through the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Mario Gordon, 34, of New York City was charged with aggravated trafficking in heroin, aggravated trafficking in cocaine base and unlawful possession of oxycodone, all Dec. 1 in Augusta. The complaint also lists two counts of criminal forfeiture of $1,900 and $536 that police reported seizing from Gordon’s wallet and pocket.

On Friday at the Capital Judicial Center, Spencer listed prior criminal convictions of Gordon, all from New York state, starting with a 2002 conviction there for felony robbery for which Gordon was sentenced to 42 months behind bars. Spencer also said his office had been unable so far to determine whether Gordon remains on parole for a more recent conviction for criminal sale. Gordon said he was released from jail on that charge in 2014.

Spencer said Gordon got a Maine driver’s license in September.

“The state believes a substantial amount of bail is called for to assure his appearance at future court proceedings,” Spencer said, in requesting $75,000 bail.


Mathews set it at $100,000, and said it had to be in cash. He also set conditions banning Gordon from use and possession of illegal drugs and from leaving Maine. Mathews said that once an attorney is appointed to represent Gordon, bail can be re-argued.

Elizabeth Gray, one of the lawyers of the day, had asked that bail be set at $10,000 to $20,000, an amount that Gordon thought he could arrange. She said he was living with his girlfriend in Augusta.

Augusta police and members of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency went to Crosby Street Place at 4:27 p.m. Thursday and were there for about two hours, according to the Augusta police log. They received a warrant to search the home after investigators determined that illegal drugs were being sold at that address, Massey said.

An affidavit by Augusta police Detective Matthew Estes says, “During the last three months I have made three controlled buys with Corey Vannah and Christine Thayer using a confidential informant.”

The same affidavit says Vannah admitted selling heroin and crack cocaine supplied to him by Gordon, who obtained the drugs in New York. Vannah told police the drugs were kept in a safe in a closet in the residence.

When police searched the home Thursday, they found the cash as well as 62 grams of crack cocaine (with an estimated street value of $6,100), 62 grams of heroin (estimated street value $12,000) and eight OxyContin pills (estimated street value $320), Massey added.


Two other people were arrested during the sweep. Todd R. Collins, 30, of Augusta was arrested on a charge of unlawful possession of heroin. He was later free on $160 cash bail.

Michelle J. Benavidez, 35, of Augusta was arrested on a warrant related to unpaid fines after police made a traffic stop in connection with the afternoon drug bust, Massey said. Benavidez was released later Friday after her court appearance.

A sixth person, April D. Meserve, 33, of Waterville, was not arrested, but was issued a summons on a charge of unlawful possession of heroin and released from the scene, Massey said.

On Thursday, Meserve also was indicted by a grand jury in Kennebec County on charges of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, illegal possession of hypodermic apparatuses and violation of condition of release all dated Sept. 7 in Waterville.

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