Seventeen people who allegedly participated in a drug ring that brought fentanyl and methamphetamine from Massachusetts to Maine for distribution as far north as Caribou are facing federal drug charges.
Two of the 17 are accused of using drug proceeds to buy a property in Dixmont that prosecutors want forfeited if the defendants are found guilty.
A federal grand jury’s indictment of the alleged drug ring participants stems from a September 2019 stop on Interstate 95 during which Maine State Police troopers found five pounds of methamphetamine. That stop prompted the investigation into the drug ring that authorities say lasted about four years.
All but one of the 15 who have been arrested so far are from Maine. The following people have been indicted on a charge of conspiring to distribute drugs between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2021: Daquan Corbett, 27, of Brockton, Massachusetts; Sarah McBreairty, 33, of Dixmont; James King, 52, of Caribou; John Miller, 21, Caribou; James Valante, 40, of Linneus; Andrew Adams, 30, of Windham; Thomas Hammond, 23, of Charleston; Wayne Smith, 31, of Charleston; Shelby Loring, 27, of Bangor; Joshua Young, 31, of Presque Isle; Aaron Rodgers, 41, of Bangor; Jason Cunrod, 41, of Caribou; Joshua Jerrell, 27, of Orrington; Christopher Coty, 41,of Windham; and Carol Gordon, 51, of Bangor.
The indictment alleges that the conspirators were responsible for distributing more than a pound of methamphetamine and nearly a pound of fentanyl in Penobscot and Aroostook counties.
In addition to the drug conspiracy charge, McBreairty and Cunrod have been charged with money laundering. They are accused of buying property on Moosehead Trail in Dixmont with money from drug proceeds. The U.S. attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, has asked that property be forfeited if they are found guilty.
McBreairty and Jerrell also are charged with conspiring to lie on applications to buy firearms for other people.
About half the defendants have made their first court appearances and have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In a separate case, McBrearity’s sister, 31-year-old Danielle McBreairty of Bangor, pleaded guilty in June to a similar conspiracy charge and two counts of being a drug user in possession of a firearm. She has been transferred to a drug rehabilitation facility while awaiting sentence.
Because of the alleged amount of drugs distributed, the McBreairty sisters, Corbet, King, Miller, Valante and Adams face between 10 years and life in prison on the drug conspiracy charge and fines of up to $10 million.
The other defendants face up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million if convicted of conspiring to distribute drugs.