BETHEL — Maine Drug Enforcement agents have made another arrest in the ongoing investigation into a large-scale methamphetamine production and distribution ring in the Bethel area.
Macy Jon Blaisdell, 34, of Bethel was arrested at his home on Flat Road on Thursday afternoon by MDEA agent Tony Milligan, according to officials.
Blaisdell is facing a charge of criminal conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant.
According to the Oxford County Jail in Paris, Blaisdell was released Thursday afternoon on $1,000 unsecured bail.
His is the 10th arrest to come out of police raids on suspected methamphetamine labs in the Bethel area.
MDEA Supervisor Matt Cashman said Blaisdell is suspected of purchasing pseudoephedrine, a common decongestant, and providing it to other members of the group to produce meth.
Cashman said members of the group bought pseudoephedrine tablets at pharmacies from Berlin, N.H., to Gray.
Maine, along with many other states, has regulations that require customers to provide identification when purchasing pseudoephedrine and place limits on the amount of the drug customers can buy.
Those looking to make meth move from store to store, buying up as much of the drug as they legally can, a process referred to as “smurfing,” Cashman said.
In many cases, pseudoephedrine is used like currency and sold or traded to meth producers for drugs or money, although there is no indication those transactions were taking place in this case, he said.
According to Cashman, Blaisdell and others provided pseudoephedrine to David Lee Thompson, 52, of Gilead, and Rodney Levesque, 35, of Oxford, who are suspected of being the primary drug producers.
Thompson and Levesque were arrested in a raid by agents and area police agencies Feb. 7. Others arrested that day were Mico Thompson, 31, of Gilead; Scott Hart, 36, and Amanda Thompson, 28, both of Albany Township; Joshua Spencer, 28, and Heidi Owens, 24, both of Greenwood; and Joel Mills, 38, of Mason Township.
All eight were charged with trafficking/manufacturing methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, MDEA Division 1 Commander Scott Pelletier said at the time.
Earlier this week, police arrested Sarah Levesque, 38, of Gilead on criminal conspiracy charges related to the case.
According to police, Thompson has confessed to being the ringleader of the group and to teaching his children and others how to produce the drug.
Cashman said his office also suspects Thompson may have been producing how-to videos for sale to prospective meth cooks and bragged about his proficiency at making the drug.
Methamphetamine production in Maine has been on the rise in recent years, but this is the first known operation of this size in Oxford County. According to Cashman, meth manufacture and use in the area largely has been under the radar, but the arrests in February captured the attention of local law enforcement.
MDEA agents plan to hold training sessions with local first responders in the coming months on how to identify possible meth labs, which often use dangerous chemicals and have a tendency to explode, Cashman said.
“We just want to make sure everybody is safe,” Cashman said. “Any type of first responders, paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement, we’re trying to get the word out there for their safety.”