A Portland resident is one of 11 Maine women facing federal charges for their alleged roles in a drug distribution ring run by the New York-based Bully Gang.
Amanda Walton, 32, is charged with conspiracy, distribution of crack cocaine and heroin, money laundering, and maintaining stash houses throughout Maine.
The latest defendants indicted by a grand jury in the Bully Gang drug ring include a New York City Department of Corrections officer and a former corrections officer accused of trafficking drugs. They allegedly took bribes from gang members to allow the sale of drugs inside the Riker’s Island facility.
Two gang leaders also are charged with conspiring to murder another member in June 2018.
The gang allegedly operated a sophisticated drug trafficking network from 2017 through mid-2020 responsible for distributing large quantities of crack cocaine, heroin and fentanyl from New York to Maine. The gang’s leaders sent members to Maine to operate stash houses where narcotics were stored and sold and drug proceeds were collected on a regular basis, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.
The drug money was used to buy jewelry, cars and other expensive items, according to court documents. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than $380,000 in cash, more than 15 firearms, 6 kilograms of cocaine, 600 grams of fentanyl and four cars with concealed compartments.
In all, 49 people have been charged in connection with the Bully Gang’s operation.
Walton, who remains free on $10,000 cash bail, allegedly was involved with Bermon Clake, 28, of Rahway, New Jersey. She allowed the gang to register cars in her name in Maine, according to court documents. Walton also allegedly traveled the state at night to deliver drugs and collect money from stash houses in Searsport, Troy, Swanville, Detroit, Garland and Levant.
Other stash houses were located in Jay and Presque Isle, according to the complaint, dated June 18, 2020.
The other Maine residents facing drug charges are: Jessica Almeida, 33, of Detroit; Janet Blood, 47, of Troy; Elizabeth Duecaster, 35, of Searsport; Erica Faggiole, 44, of Levant; Nadine Heath, 54, of Troy; Amanda Huard, 38, of Raymond; Joanne Lydem, 49, of Garland; Jessica Pelkey, 26, of Presque Isle; Nicolette Tompkins, 22, of Westfield; and Danielle White, 47, of Swanville.