Augusta Traffic Stop Leads To Five Arrests In Somerset County Crack Bust
The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has arrested five people for their roles in distributing crack cocaine and Fentanyl throughout Somerset County. Over a pound of crack was seized along with Fentanyl and a gun.
According to Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland, the suspects arrested were:
- Markwan Granville, 19, of Rochester, NY, for Aggravated Trafficking in Schedule W Drugs, Class A. Bail was set at $50,000
- Jamie Martinez Betances, 29, of Rochester, NY, for Aggravated Trafficking in Schedule W Drugs, Class A. Bail was set at $50,000
- A 17-year-old male juvenile from Rochester, NY for Aggravated Trafficking in Schedule W Drugs, Class A. Bail was set at $50,000
- Rhonda Goldsmith, 43, of Vassalboro, Maine for Aggravated Trafficking in Schedule W Drugs, Class A. Bail was set at $25,000
- Jeffrey Charette, 47, of Winslow, Maine for Unlawful Furnishing of Schedule W Drugs, Class D. Bail was set at $2,500
McCausland said for the past two months agents from the MDEA South Central District Task Force, along with investigators from the Somerset and Kennebec County Sheriff’s Offices, the Fairfield and Gardiner Police Departments and State Police responded to community complaints and conducted an investigation into the distribution of Crack Cocaine and Fentanyl in the county.
According to McCausland, the investigation revealed a group from Rochester, NY were traveling to Maine regularly with large amounts of drugs that were sold to local users.
On May 10, 2016, information was developed by Gardiner Police that the group was suspected of storing a large amount of drugs at 376 Center Road in Fairfield, McCausland said. Agents and investigators established surveillance of the Center Road residence as a search warrant was being secured. During the surveillance, Goldsmith, Granville and the teenager were observed leaving the Fairfield residence and were subsequently stopped on Western Avenue in Augusta, according to McCausland. Charette and Martinez Betances were also stopped in Charrettes’ vehicle as they left the Fairfield residence, McCausland said.
During the search at 376 Center Road, McCausland said that agents seized approximately 516 grams (18.4 ounces) of crack cocaine and 59 grams (2.1 ounces) of Fentanyl. A loaded handgun was also seized. The approximate street value of the drugs is $72,000, according to McCausland.
All five were arrested and transported to the Somerset County Jail where bail was set. The aggravating factor in their charges is the presence of a firearm and weight of the drugs, McCausland said.
The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected, McCausland said. Agents are also investigating what connection the home owners; who were not present at the time and the numerous people who stay at the residence have to the investigation.