RUMFORD – A Rumford family was arrested early Thursday morning in their car on Route 108 in Canton after allegedly returning from an overnight trip to Massachusetts to get crack cocaine to sell here.
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Supervisor Gerry Baril detailed the case Thursday afternoon in Lewiston.
He said Gladys Cruz, 40, her son, Orlando Ortiz, 18, both of 20 Falmouth St., Rumford, and her daughter, Jennifer Colon, 21, of 254 Armory St., Jamaica Plains, Mass., were each charged with importing and trafficking crack cocaine.
They were taken to Oxford County Jail in Paris, where bail was set for each at $2,000 cash or $30,000 in real estate surety.
That bail was reduced Thursday afternoon when the three were arraigned at Paris District Court, a clerk said.
Bail was set for Cruz at either $500 cash or $10,000 surety; for Ortiz, $300 cash or $10,000 surety; and for Colon, $1,000 cash or $15,000 surety. Remanded back to jail, they are scheduled to next appear at 8 a.m. June 22 in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris.
If they make bail, conditions levied against the family are to not possess or use alcohol or illegal drugs, submit to random chemical tests or searches, not possess dangerous weapons, and be on supervised release through Maine pre-trial services, the district court clerk said.
In the arrest, police seized 17 grams of crack cocaine wrapped in 17 packages and ready for distribution in Oxford and Franklin counties, Baril said.
“It could have serviced 30 customers or 15 customers twice. What they had sells for an average of $200 for a gram, but it could be more if cut into quarter pieces. We’ve seen people pay $50 for a quarter of a gram. It’s unbelievable how much money people pay on this,” Baril said.
The street value of the seized crack was estimated at between $3,000 and $3,500, he added.
Baril credited Rumford police and detectives Lt. George Cayer and Sgt. Daniel Garbarini with starting the investigation.
The detectives received information that the family had left Rumford on Wednesday afternoon and were traveling to Roxbury, Mass., to acquire crack cocaine.
That set in motion a rolling surveillance team comprised of Rumford police, drug enforcement agents, Oxford and Franklin county deputies and state police, intent on catching the family as they were returning to Rumford, Baril said.
“We were waiting for them to come home, and to escort them back,” he said.
A line of surveillance was established along Route 4 and Route 108 from north Turner to Canton late Wednesday night. Police had information that the family would be in a 1986 Buick Electra, according to a Thursday press release from Department of Public Safety Spokesman Stephen McCausland.
When the car arrived at 2:30 a.m. Thursday, it was stopped without incident in Canton, McCausland stated.
Rumford police Sgt. James Bernard said Thursday afternoon that Cruz and her children moved to Rumford about a year ago from Massachusetts.
Regarding the arrest, Bernard said, “Any time we can get $3,000 worth to $3,500 worth of drugs off the street, it’s going to make an impact. Every little bit helps.”