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Police seized more than 20 grams of crack cocaine, $100,000 in drug money, more than 10 pounds of marijuana, and items that may be connected to ambulance thefts in Pittsfield this summer, during drug busts in two counties over the past month.
Sheriff's photo Kennebec County Sheriff Major Everett B. Flannery Jr., left, and Somerset County Sheriff Barry A. DeLong look over items seized by police in drug-related raids over the past month in the two counties. click to enlarge
At least nine people were arrested in the half dozens raids that were conducted by police from the Somerset County and Kennebec County Sheriff's Departments. Fairfield and Pittsfield police also assisted in the execution of some of the search warrants, according to Somerset County Sheriff's Detective Lt. Carl E. Gottardi II.
On Oct. 4, police found more than 20 grams of crack cocaine at Roger Karnes' home on Summit Street in Fairfield, valued at $2,800 an ounce or $100 a gram, according to Gottardi. Several bags of marijuana and drug-related paraphernalia also was seized.
Karnes, 50, was arrested and charged with trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, according to Gottardi, who said convictions on both counts could mean up to 15 years in jail and $15,000.
Dave Duff, 39, was also arrested at the Summit Street home and charged with trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. Duff also was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant issued in Kennebec County.
Police searched another residence on the Skowhegan Road in Fairfield that is believed to be connected to Karnes and Duff, Gottardi said.
On Oct 24, police who searched a motor vehicle traveling south on I-95 and a Somerset County residence, uncovered documents related to an Arizona-to-Maine marijuana-trafficking connection and $99,500 in cash.
Gottardi said marijuana is purchased cheaply in Mexico and transported in big amounts to other states. He said no names are being released yet in that case; a joint investigation continues between Arizona and Somerset County officials.
On Oct. 25, police searched homes in Hartland and Detroit, seizing stolen items that may be connected to breaks at the fire and ambulance departments in Pittsfield more than a month ago.
Gottardi said police also seized drugs and other stolen property that may link those residents to recent burglaries and car burglaries in the Detroit-Pittsfield area.
On Sept. 27, police searched the home of Richard Romano, 38, Lancaster Road in Athens, and seized processed marijuana, pills, firearms and what is believed to be illegally-possessed game animals, meat and drug-related paraphernalia. Warden Scott Thrasher will handle the animal case.
Romano was arrested and charged with furnishing marijuana and possession of marijuana. Others arrested at the Romano residence were: Eric Gardiner, 22, Athens, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of drug paraphernalia; Daniel Whalen, 30, Athens, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia; Edward Cooley, 22, Athens, arrested on a outstanding arrested warrant, and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia; and Chad Flanders, 26, Athens, possession of marijuana.
At a Sept. 30 search of a Pease Road home in Cambridge, Michael Lingley, 31, was arrested and charged with aggravated cultivation of marijuana and trafficking in marijuana. At his home, police seized numerous high-grade marijuana plants, several loaded firearms, processed marijuana, television equipment and cultivation equipment.
At an Oct. 26 search of a Fahi Pond Road home in North Anson, George (Jerry) Chestnut, 40, was arrested and charged with trafficking in marijuana, cultivation of marijuana and criminal use of explosives. Warden Cheryl Barden will be handling charges related to illegal fish and game that was seized.
Police also seized more than 10 pounds of marijuana, marijuana plants, scales, more than $4,000 in cash, drug-related documents, drug-related paraphernalia, and cultivation equipment
-------------------- The fear of loss is always greater than the desire for gain