OXFORD — The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency dismantled five meth labs and arrested eight Oxford County residents Friday following a three-month investigation.
Arrested were David Thompson, 52, and Mico Thompson, 31, both of Gilead; Rodney Levesque, 35, of Oxford; 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 were charged with trafficking/manufacturing methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, MDEA Division 1 Commander Scott Pelletier said.
“The investigation revealed an organized group of individuals who routinely purchased components used to manufacture methamphetamine,” Pelletier said in a news release. One component is pseudoephedrine, a common cold decongestant essential to the manufacturing process, he said.
The meth, a highly addictive stimulant, was sold throughout Oxford County, Pelletier said.
Specially trained drug agents and two state chemists armed with specialized equipment and wearing protective gear dismantled five “one-pot” meth labs — one in a pickup truck parked in Oxford and the others at homes in other towns, Pelletier said.
Last year, a record 20 meth labs were discovered in Maine, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said.
On Friday morning, state and federal drug agents with the assistance of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, Oxford Police Department and Maine State Police secured homes in the towns of Oxford, Greenwood and Gilead, and in Albany and Mason townships.
Six search warrants were executed throughout the day, including one for Levesque’s Ford F-150 pickup truck parked at Ocean State Job Lot on Route 26 in Oxford.
Evidence, including vessels used to break down the drug-making chemicals, camp-fire fuel, lithium and coffee filters were confiscated from the truck. The items were small enough that they could be put in a knapsack, Pelletier said.
The truck was not used to “cook” the meth, but simply to transport the paraphernalia used in the process, he said.
In addition to the truck, police searched a mobile home at 209 Webber Brook Road in Oxford. Neighbors said two school-age children live in the house.
“There are always a lot of people going in and out of there,” said one woman who declined to be identified. She said she has seen police called to the house on many occasions.
According to police, the suspects were being held at the Oxford County Jail in Paris.
Bail was set at $75,000 cash or $100,000 surety for David Thompson, and $50,000 cash or $75,000 surety for the others. Hart was also being held on a probation violation.