AUGUSTA — Drug agents have arrested six people and seized more than $20,000 worth of drugs after a lengthy investigation into what agents described as a Massachusetts-based trafficking organization.
Maine and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agents, working with Augusta police, arrested six people during a warranted search at two motel rooms Tuesday, said Darrell Crandall, division commander of the of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Ashlie Williams, 21, of Vassalboro was charged with trafficking in scheduled drugs, Crandall said.
Five others, including four people from Massachusetts and one from New Hampshire, are also facing drug trafficking charges, Crandall said.
All of those arrested were still being held at the Kennebec County jail as of Thursday afternoon, Crandall said.
The search netted heroin, cocaine and OxyContin tablets with a combined value of more than $21,000, Crandall said.
Police said agents also seized two handguns, one of which was loaded, and a 1997 Lexus.
Police said the search followed several weeks of surveillance that showed nearly daily trips between Augusta and Massachusetts, Crandall said. Agents also observed the drugs being sold here in Maine.
The arrests came a day after eight people, all from New York City, Bangor or Dedham, were arrested at a Bangor motel and charged with drug trafficking.
The Bangor operation, like that in Augusta, was under surveillance for some time, Crandall said. Drug agents made covert drug purchases from members of the organization, Crandall said. The drugs were sold from an apartment within 1,000 feet of a school, which makes the trafficking charge aggravated, Crandall said.
Drug agents and Bangor police executed a search warrant at two motel rooms late Monday and seized heroin, crack cocaine and powder cocaine valued at roughly $2,100, Crandall said.
“These drug arrests highlight a continuing and disturbing trend in the distribution of drugs in Maine,” Maine DEA Director Roy McKinney said in a release. “Out-of-state traffickers view Maine as a lucrative market.”