A length of rope and sections of fencing blocked off Libby's Lane off Route 1 in Sullivan on May 3, 2019. A house on Libby's Lane and others in Jonesport and Beals were raided the day prior by state and federal drug enforcement officials as part of a sweep in eastern coastal Maine that resulted in 24 people being charged with drug trafficking-related crimes in state and federal courts. Credit: Bill Trotter

A New York man accused of selling crack cocaine and fentanyl to an undercover police officer in Calais in March is the latest person to face federal drug distribution charges as a result of an FBI investigation focused on Washington County.

Equan “Chris” Ware, 20, was arrested in New York on May 7, a few days after the FBI and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested 25 people in a series of raids conducted at suspected drugs houses between Sullivan and Indian Township.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court in Bangor, Ware accompanied an undercover officer on a ride from Bangor to Calais on March 10 to participate in a drug deal. After giving Ware a ride to Calais, where they met some other people at a Main Street apartment, the officer bought 1.7 grams of a heroin-fentanyl mix from Ware and 3.4 grams of crack from another man for a total of $300.

[25 people charged in wake of FBI drug arrests Down East]

Ware is facing a felony charge of distribution of cocaine base (i.e., crack) and heroin. If convicted, he could face punishment of not more than 20 years in prison and a fine of not more than $1 million, according to court documents.

The apartment where the alleged drug deal took place was not among the various locations in Hancock and Washington counties where the FBI and state and local police officers executed a series of raids on Thursday, May 2. Locations where police executed search warrants and made arrests on that day include Libby’s Lane in Sullivan; a home on Indian River Road in Jonesport that is about a half mile away from the local high school; a home in the adjacent town of Beals; and a home on Quarry Road in Cutler.

At the raid in Cutler, police recovered $3,030 in cash that they found in a jacket belonging to Christopher Cruz, who also is facing federal drug distribution charges, and an unspecified firearm, according to federal officials. As part of the same raid, police recovered 180 grams of bagged crack cocaine from the plumbing of a toilet after people in the house tried to flush it down as police entered the home.

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In addition to the Main Street apartment in Calais, other locations where alleged illegal drug transactions were monitored and documented by police include a house next to a closed supermarket on Addison Road in Columbia; a home on Church Street in Beals where, according to court documents, a sign posted on the front door said “Don’t come in unless you call first” and listed the prices of drugs for sale; a home on Grace Lane in Lubec; and a house on Route 1 in Indian Township.

Some of the people charged in federal court as part of the investigation were arrested in the months leading up to the raids when officers with Maine Drug Enforcement Agency stopped vehicles in Dedham and Ellsworth as the drivers were headed back home after traveling out of state allegedly to buy large quantities of drugs for resale, according to police.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....