The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has announced the arrests of fifteen people for conspiracy to traffic in heroin, after indictments were handed down by the Oxford County Grand Jury.

According to Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland, most of those indicted were arrested on Dec. 22 by a team of over 20 police officers at various locations in the county and elsewhere.  Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Roy McKinney said this is likely the largest drug investigation in Oxford County history.

The two year MDEA investigation, working with Oxford County law enforcement and State Police, uncovered that between January 2013 and April 2015, the fifteen suspects were responsible for the importation and distribution of 17.8 pounds of heroin throughout Oxford County. That is the equivalent of 80,000 dosages and a street value of $3.2 million, McCausland said.

On Dec. 18, the investigation was presented to the Oxford County Grand Jury resulting in the indictment of all those listed below with Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Heroin, a Class B crime, said McCausland.

Those indicted are ---

  • Brian Aquino , 34, 8 Hart St, Lynn, MA-Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B, Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A
  • Del Hathaway, 26, 962 Portland Road, Saco, (presently incarcerated York County Jail)-Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B, Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A
  • Brianna Thayer, 26, 228 Country Place Road, Bean Station, TN-Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B, Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A
  • Brandon Blood, 23, 110 McCrillis Brook Road, Bethel-Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A,Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Morgan McKinney, 20, 110 McCrillis Brook Road, Bethel-Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B, Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, Class B
  • Dana Ingerson, 29, 29 Depot St, Buckfield (presently incarcerated Middlesex County House of Corrections, Billerica, MA)-Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Courtney Moulton, 23, 228 Country Place Road, Bean Station, TN-Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Scott Billings, 24, 1045 Route 232, Milton Plantation-Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Kevin Litchfield, 28, 386 King Street, Oxford, (presently incarcerated Cumberland County Jail)-Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Richard Labay, 38, 9 Orchard Court, West Paris-Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Michael Farnum, 24, 915 Route 232, Bethel, Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Jacob Santillo, 25, 216 Hancock Street, Rumford, Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Cameron Gervais, 26, 771 Main St, South Portland, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Gregory Ford, 54, 35 Foxcroft Drive, Scarborough, Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B
  • Matthew Ross, 23, formerly from Westbrook, but currently homeless (presently incarcerated Cumberland County Jail)-Conspiracy To Commit Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class B

In addition to the conspiracy charges, a count of Aggravated Trafficking in Heroin, a Class A crime, was brought against 12 of the 15. The three exceptions are Gervais, Ford and Ross, said McCausland  Ross was indicted on a count of Hindering Apprehension to Prosecution, a Class B crime.  Aggravated Trafficking in Heroin indictments will be sought in Cumberland County against Gervais, Ford and Ross at a later date.

Beginning in November 2013, MDEA agents from the Western District Task Force initiated an investigation into the distribution of Oxycodone and heroin in the county.  McCausland said that the investigation began after information was provided to agents by a State Trooper following a motor vehicle stop.

McKinney said it was that tip that began the two-year investigation to identify and infiltrate the heroin distribution network.  The investigation revealed that Del Hathaway and his girlfriend Brianna Thayer were the main suppliers of heroin to the group. Hathaway and Thayer bought large amounts of heroin from their supplier, Brian Aquino in Lynn, Mass. and then distributed it in Maine receiving payment from their dealers in cash or electronic money transfers.  Hathaway had moved to Saco from Lowell, Mass. to oversee the heroin operation. Thayer originally is from Biddeford-Saco, but recently moved to Tennessee.

During the investigation, agents conducted numerous interviews, surveillance and undercover purchases of Oxycodone and heroin from several members of the group, said McCausland. More than 25 search warrants and subpoenas for suspects’ residences, telephones, financial, and social media records were served.  The information gathered confirmed that the common source of the heroin was Hathaway and Thayer and that their Massachusetts connection was Aquino.

Assisting out-of-state agencies included Lynn, MA Police, Massachusetts Probation and Parole, the Massachusetts State Police Fugitive Apprehension Division and the Bean Station, Tennessee Police Department.

McKinney said most every law enforcement agency in Oxford County played a role in the investigation and singled out Sheriff Wayne Gallant and staff at the Oxford County Jail, Oxford County District Attorney’s Office and staff, and the Maine Attorney General’s Office. McKinney also said the Maine National Guard’s Counter Drug Task Force also contributed to the investigation.